Safety assessment of the process ‘Envases Ureña’, based on Starlinger Decon technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials

Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials Enzymes, Vittorio Silano, Claudia Bolognesi, Laurence Castle, Kevin Chipman, Jean-Pierre Cravedi, Karl-Heinz Engel, Paul Fowler, Konrad Grob, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Sirpa Kärenlampi, Wim Mennes, Karla Pfaff, Gilles Rivière, Jannavi Srinivasan, Maria de Fátima Tavares Poças, Christina Tlustos, Detlef Wölfle, Holger ZornVincent Dudler, Nathalie Gontard, Eugenia Lampi, Cristina Nerin, Constantine Papaspyrides, Katharina Volk, Maria Rosaria Milana

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Abstract

This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) deals with the safety evaluation of the recycling process Envases Ureña (EU register No RECYC0147), which is based on the Starlinger Decon technology. The decontamination efficiency of the process was demonstrated by a challenge test. The input of this process is hot caustic washed and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, mainly bottles, containing no more than 5% of PET from non-food consumer applications. In this technology, washed and dried PET flakes are preheated before being submitted to solid-state polycondensation (SSP) in a continuous reactor (one single reactor or several reactors in parallel) at high temperature under vacuum and gas flow. Having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the preheating (step 2) and the decontamination in the continuous SSP reactor (step 3) are the critical steps that determine the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters that control the performance of the process are well defined and are temperature, pressure, residence time and gas flow for steps 2 and 3. Under these conditions, it was demonstrated that the recycling process under evaluation, using the Starlinger Decon technology, is able to ensure that the level of migration of potential unknown contaminants into food is below a conservatively modelled migration of 0.1 μg/kg food. Therefore, the Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from this process intended to be used up to 100% 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. Trays made of this PET are not intended to be used and should not to be used in microwave and conventional ovens.
Original languageEnglish
Pagese05118
Volume16
Specialist publicationEFSA Journal
PublisherEuropean Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Starlinger Decon technology
  • Envases Ureña
  • food contact materials
  • plastic
  • poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)
  • recycling process
  • safety assessment

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    EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials Enzymes, F. A. P. A. CEF., Silano, V., Bolognesi, C., Castle, L., Chipman, K., Cravedi, J-P., Engel, K-H., Fowler, P., Grob, K., Gürtler, R., Husøy, T., Kärenlampi, S., Mennes, W., Pfaff, K., Rivière, G., Srinivasan, J., Tavares Poças, M. D. F., Tlustos, C., Wölfle, D., ... Milana, M. R. (2018). Safety assessment of the process ‘Envases Ureña’, based on Starlinger Decon technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials. EFSA Journal, 16, e05118. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5118