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EU Publishes New Regulation (EU) 2022/1616 on Recycled Plastics in Contact With Food


Time:

2022-09-30

On September 20, the European Commission issued a new Regulation (EU) 2022/1616 on recycled plastics for food contact, and repealed Regulation (EC) No 282/2008. The new regulations will take effect on October 10, 2022.

On September 20, the European Commission issued a new Regulation (EU) 2022/1616 on recycled plastics for food contact, and repealed Regulation (EC) No 282/2008. The new regulations will take effect on October 10, 2022.

 

Scope of the New Regulations

Plastic materials and articles that come into contact with food, derived from or made from waste;

Development and operation of recycling technologies, processes and plants to produce recycled plastics for use in these plastic materials and articles;

Use of recycled plastic materials and articles in contact with food and expected recycling of plastic materials and articles.

 

Main Content Requirements

Comply with the relevant requirements of EU10/2011;

use suitable recycling techniques;

where relevant, the recycling process is authorised;

Requirements for collection and pretreatment of recycled plastics, decontamination requirements, post-processing and use requirements;

Operational requirements for recycling programs;

Development and marketing requirements for recycling technologies;

Authorization procedures for the recycling process;

requirements for registration;

Requirements for declaration of conformity for recycling companies and processing companies, etc.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about New Regulations

The new regulations have many changes and complex contents. The European Commission has developed a website that lists frequently asked questions and answers related to recycling regulations. Below is a summary of some of the questions and answers.


Q: What recycling technologies are covered by the new regulations?

A: This includes mechanical recycling, recycling products from closed and controlled product chains, using recycled plastic behind functional barriers, and chemical recycling. In the past, EU plastic recycling regulations excluded several manufacturing technologies, and the new regulations put an end to that. All food contact plastic materials containing or manufactured from waste are subject to this regulation, including food contact plastic materials produced using chemical recycling techniques rather than mechanical recycling techniques. This chemical recycling technique breaks down the plastic to a certain extent.

 

Q: What is the role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)?

A: EFSA has developed criteria for assessing the safety of recycling processes to ensure that they do not harm human health, and against which recycling processes submitted for authorisation applications are assessed. Over the past decade, EFSA has assessed more than 200 PET recycling processes. The new regulations also require EFSA to provide an opinion on whether new recycling technologies are suitable as the basis for a recycling process, depending on the type of plastic input, and the decontamination principles for which they are applied.

 

Q: How to improve the transparency of the product?

A: The new regulations establish a federated register of recyclers, recycling processes, recycling facilities, where those facilities are located, recycling programmes and new technologies. The register will be rolled out in the coming months. This will ensure a high level of transparency of information and will also facilitate quality control of recycled plastics.

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