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EU Enforcement Action on Plastic Food Contact Materials Made of Bamboo Powder

Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials for food contact mandates that the materials may only be manufactured with certain substances.

Woman holding a cup of coffee

July 23, 2021

Plastic materials intended to come into contact with food and intended to access the European market may only be manufactured with substances which have been thoroughly assessed and are authorized in accordance with the Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials for food contact.

Over 900 substances, including monomers, additives and polymer production aids, are now authorized and included in the same regulation, under the Union list of authorized substances, Chapter II, Section 1, Article 5.

However, plastic food contact materials (FCMs) are being sold in the European Union (EU) market that contain bamboo and other plant-based additives, which are not authorized and not included on the Union list. Therefore, placing plastic FCMs containing those additives on the market is illegal. The use of bamboo and other unauthorized ground-plant materials in plastic FCMs may represent a public health risk, as such materials can cause accelerated degradation of certain plastics. This can lead to substances migrating from the plastic into food.

Following the continued placement on the market of such plastic FCMs, the European Commission, along with EU member states and members of the EU Food Fraud Network have agreed on May 6, 2021 to launch an EU enforcement action plan.

The objective of the plan is to ensure the following:

  • Plastic products containing the above-mentioned illegal plant-based additives that do not comply with EU regulations are rejected at the borders and do not enter the EU market.
  • Tax duties for plastic products that were wrongly declared are recovered.
  • Member States’ enforcement and competent authorities remind business operators about the illegality of these products, including through the support of e-platforms
  • Consumers are made aware of any issues, including health risks.

The European Commission will also assist EU countries in ensuring these products are no longer placed on the EU market.

How UL can help

UL’s experts can support FCM retailers and manufacturers with a documentation review that can identify if their products contain bamboo and/or other plant-based additives that cannot be sold on the European market. This will avoid market recalls and damage to brand reputation.

Official Source Link: https://ec.europa.eu/food/food/agri-food-fraud/eu-coordinated-actions/bamboo-zling_en

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