The European Plastics Distributors Association (EPDA) has thrown its weight behind new EU legislation protecting consumers from the risks of contaminated plastics in packaging products.
The EU has issued Directive EU 10/2011, which is binding in all member states and applies to food contact materials including printed or coated plastic multi-layer materials and articles held together by adhesives, plastic layers or coatings forming gaskets in caps and closures, and plastic layers in multi-material multi-layer materials and articles.
The EPDA has encouraged its members, who are stakeholders up and down the plastics packaging value chain, to meet these higher standards, which many of them already achieving these benchmarks before the legislation became legally enforced.
Designed to protect consumers from potential plastics contamination, the legislation has driven a surge in investment in migration testing, due diligence, employee training, customer training, brochure and certificate redesign and additional manpower.
The avoidance of production line stoppages and huge product recall costs, combined with protecting consumers’ health, is at the centre of plastics producers’ agenda. EPDA members are united in helping food processors to avoid all contamination by plastics of food products.
EPDA member Quadrant has blazed a trail by establishing a new portfolio for Food Grade products, meeting the Declaration of Compliance set out in EU 10/2011. The company believes that the introduction of the legislation is a major step in the right direction. It, together with raw material manufacturers, additive suppliers and food manufacturers, is constantly developing new materials to make food production even safer in the future.
"High-performance plastics have taken over many important functions in modern food production and contribute significantly to economic and safe production," said Petra Brinkmann, Marketing Communications Coordinator at Quadrant EPP Europe. "It is inevitable that these plastic components come into contact with food. Therefore, it is even more important that the plastic materials are safe with regard to their constituents and additives."
Fellow member Ensinger, has tested all of its products, regardless of end user, to match the standards laid down in the legislation.
"To make life easier, we have no special food grades, but tested all formulations for the selected materials from our regular stock program to avoid double inventory for us and our customers," an Ensigner spokesperson stated.
Furthermore, Zell-Metall, which supplies engineered plastic stock shapes destined for the food industry, declared that even though its products were already classed as food grade materials before the Directive, it is now fully certified and compliant.
Thanks to the hard work of EPDA members and the significant investments made in light of the Directive, the European plastics industry can assure food processors, buying from certified European firms, of a safe supply of Food Grade plastic materials with excellent traceability and reliability, giving the supply chain from manufacturer to consumer peace of mind.