Paper industry issues voluntary guidelines on food contact materials

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Leading industry bodies from the paper and board sectors have published voluntary guidelines for their members to help ensure compliance with general EU legislation on food contact materials.

The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the International Confederation of Paper and Board Converters in Europe (CITPA) issued the guide on how to meet obligations laid out in EC Framework regulation 1935/2004. This ruling covers all materials and articles which come in contact with food.

“The Guideline offers, in the absence of a specific measure, the alternative of self-regulation,” said Jori Ringman, CEPI recycling and product director. “There is now a period of opportunity during which the paper-based packaging chain can show that its own guidelines can deliver.”

Earlier this year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set up an expert panel to evaluate the safety of non-plastic food contact materials such as paper and cardboard, as well as inks and adhesives. The safety watchdog said it had convened the scientific cooperation (ESCO) working group in response to a number of episodes in the last few years involving the migration of non-plastic contact materials into food - particularly chemicals in printing inks such as ITX, 4-methylbenzophenone and benzophenone. EFSA said that at present there are no specific regulations for non-plastic food contact substances.

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