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New EU rules to allow use of recycled plastics in food packaging

15 September 2022, 23:19 CET
New EU rules to allow use of recycled plastics in food packaging

Drinks bottle - Image by Darko Djurin on Pixabay

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission adopted new rules Thursday on the safety of recycled plastic materials which set clear rules to ensure that recycled plastic can be safely used in food packaging in the EU.

The Commission says the new Regulation will contribute to increasing the overall sustainability of the food system and achieving the objectives of its 'Circular Economy Action Plan'.

"To lower our dependency on primary raw materials and build a fully circular economy, we need to boost the market for recycled plastics and significantly reduce plastic waste in the food sector and beyond," said EC vice-president Frans Timmerman: "Plastics are useful to preserve food, but their use has to be sustainable. Today's new rules enable food manufacturers to use more recycled plastics in food packaging. This is an important step towards safe and sustainable use of recycled plastics in the food sector."

The Regulation makes it possible to authorise recycling processes for manufacturing safe recycled plastic materials for use in food packaging. It will also help the recycling industry establish suitable ways for recycling plastics that presently cannot be recycled into food packaging. In addition, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will have a clearer basis to evaluate the suitability of recycling technologies and the safety of the recycled plastic in food packaging manufactured with processes using these technologies.

The Regulation will allow granting individual authorisations for more than 200 mechanical PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycling processes, which will help the industry to meet the binding 2025 target of 25% recycled plastic in PET beverage bottles. In addition, the new Regulation will establish a public register of recycling processes, recyclers, and recycling installations under its scope, providing an increased level of transparency.

Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/15XX on recycled plastic materials and articles

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