Petfles

MOPET recyclingproces ontvangt positieve opinie van EFSA voor inzet van rPET voor productie levensmiddelenverpakkingen


According to the Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/20084 of 27 March 2008 on recycled plastic materials intended to come into contact with foods and amending Regulation (EC) No 2023/20065, EFSA is requested to evaluate recycling processes of plastic waste. In this context, the CEF Panel evaluated the process MOPET ®.

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Netherlands, requested the evaluation of the recycling process MOPET ® submitted on behalf of Morssinkhof Plastics Zeewolde BV. The recycling process has been allocated the European Commission register number RECYC001. It is deemed to recycle poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) pellets from PET articles, mainly bottles and possibly trays, collected through post-consumer collection systems. The recycled pellets are intended to be used at up to 100 % for the manufacture of food contact materials and articles. These recycled materials and articles are intended to be used in direct contact with all kinds of foodstuffs for long term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill.

The process is composed of three steps. First post-consumer PET articles, mainly bottles and possibly trays, are processed into hot caustic washed and dried flakes which are used as input of the MOPET ® process. Washed flakes are further extruded in the step 2 then crystallised and solid-state polymerised (SSP) in the step 3.

Detailed specifications for the input materials are provided and the amount of non-food use containers is reported to be below 5 %.

Four challenge tests were conducted at the production plant on the process extrusion (step 2) and batch SSP (step 3) to measure the decontamination efficiency. From the two challenge tests carried out with only contaminated materials, one on the extrusion (step 2) and one on the SSP (step 3), the decontamination could be calculated for the two steps respectively.

Although the extrusion (step 2) contributes significantly to the overall decontamination efficiency, the decontamination efficiencies obtained from the challenge test performed on the step 3 and for each surrogate contaminant, ranging from more than 99.4 % to more than 99.9 %, have been used to calculate the residual concentrations of potential unknown contaminants in pellets (Cres) according to the evaluation procedure described in the Scientific Opinion on “the criteria to be used for safety evaluation of a mechanical recycling process to produce recycled PET intended to be used for manufacture of materials and articles in contact with food” (EFSA Scientific Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF), 2011). According to these criteria, the recycling processes is able to ensure that the level of unknown contaminants in recycled PET is below a calculated concentration (Cmod) corresponding to a modelled migration of 0.1 μg/kg food.

The Panel considered that the process is well characterised and the main steps used to recycle the PET flakes into decontaminated PET pellets are identified. After having examined the challenge tests provided, the Panel concluded that the batch SSP reactor (step 3) is the critical step for the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control its performance are the temperature, pressure, residence time and inert gas flow. Therefore, the Panel considered that the recycling process MOPET ® is able to reduce any foreseeable accidental contamination of the post-consumer food contact PET to a concentration that does not give rise to concern for a risk to human health if:

i. it is operated under conditions that are at least as severe as those obtained from the challenge test used to measure the decontamination efficiency of the processes and,

ii. the input of the process is washed and dried post-consumer PET flakes originating from materials and articles that have been manufactured in accordance with the Community legislation on food contact materials containing no more than 5 % of PET from non-food consumer applications.

The Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from the process MOPET ® intended for the manufacture of materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill is not considered of safety concern.

The Panel recommended that it should be verified periodically, as part of the good manufacturing practice (GMP), that as foreseen in the Regulation (EC) No 282/2008, art. 4b, the input originates from materials and articles that have been manufactured in accordance with the Community legislation on food contact materials and that the proportion of PET from non-food consumer applications is no more than 5 % in the input to be recycled. Critical steps should be monitored and kept under control; supporting documentation on how it is ensured that the critical steps are operated under conditions at least as severe as those obtained from the challenge test used to measure the decontamination efficiency of the process should be available.


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