It also helps the recycling industry find suitable ways to recycle plastics that cannot currently be recycled into food packaging. In addition, greater transparency will be guaranteed: the new regulation will set up a public register of recycling processes, recyclers and recycling facilities under its scope. Moreover, these new rules can be employed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as a "clearer basis" to assess recycling technologies and the safety of the resulting materials. In fact, the regulation will allow over 200 individual approvals for mechanical recycling processes for PET (polyethylene terephthalate).
The Commission’s Green Deal chief Frans Timmermans said in a statement: “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. 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.”
Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “The EU needs new rules to produce safe recycled plastics that can be trusted by food businesses and consumers. With around 50% of all plastic packaging in the EU used for food products, we need to ensure that this sector can transition towards a more sustainable food production safely and efficiently – using more recycled plastic is key to achieve this. Protecting our environment and the health of our citizens are two sides of the same coin, and our new rules will deliver on these objectives!”
For more information: EU Commission regulation on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 282/2008