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Recycled plastic materials and articles

Recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods are regulated at European level by a specific Regulation. This Regulation establishes particular provisions which supplement the existing legislation on food packaging.

ACT

Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2008 of 27 March 2008 on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods and amending Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006.

SUMMARY

This Regulation lays down specific measures for recycled plastic materials and articles, supplementing Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Scope

This Regulation covers recycled plastic materials and articles which may come partially or totally into contact with food.

This Regulation does not apply to recycled plastic materials and articles:

  • made with monomers and substances derived from chemical depolymerization of plastic materials and articles;
  • made from unused production offcuts or process scraps;
  • in which the recycled plastic is used behind a plastic functional barrier *.

The materials and articles covered by this Regulation are subject to Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials intended for food packaging.

Requirements for recycled plastic materials and articles

The recycled plastic used for the manufacture of materials and articles covered by this Regulation must be obtained from an authorised recycling process. The said process is to be managed using a quality assurance system which complies with the rules laid down in the Annex of Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Conditions for the authorisation of recycling processes

Authorisation may be granted if recycling processes comply with the following conditions:

  • the quality of plastic input must be characterised and controlled;
  • the plastic input must originate from plastic materials and articles that have been manufactured in accordance with Community legislation on plastic food contact materials and articles;
  • the recycling process must be able to guarantee that there can be no contamination or that it is reduced to a concentration that does not pose a risk to human health;
  • the conditions of use of recycled plastic must guarantee that the final materials and articles do not release into food components in a quantity likely to endanger human health or to bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or to bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

Applications for authorisation of recycling processes

Applications for authorisation for a recycling process are to be made to the competent authority of a Member State accompanied by a technical dossier containing the information described in the guidelines for the safety assessment of a recycling process prepared by the European Food Safety Authority.

The Member State sends the application to the Authority which is responsible for assessing whether the said process meets the above conditions. Following a transitory phase, the Authority will have a period of six months from receipt of the application to give its opinion.

The Commission shall take into account the opinion of the Authority and adopt a Decision that it will send to the applicant. In this Decision, it will grant or refuse authorisation of the recycling process.

Community register

The Commission shall maintain a register of authorised recycling processes. The register shall be made available to the public.

Official control

Recycling plants and converters shall be subject to official controls. These controls aim at verifying that the recycling processes correspond to the processes for which authorisation was granted and that the quality assurance system is in place.

The authorisation holder shall notify the competent authority in the Member State about the recycling or manufacturing site in which the authorised recycling process is being applied. Member States shall send this information to the Commission who will keep updated a register of recycling sites in the Community and third countries.

Labelling of recycled plastic materials and articles

Voluntary self-declaration of the recycled content in recycled plastic materials and articles shall follow the rules laid down in ISO 14021:1999 or equivalent.

Declaration of compliance and record keeping

In addition to the conditions laid down by Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, the declaration of compliance of recycled plastic materials and articles shall certify that the recycled plastic used comes from an authorised recycling process and shall bear the EC register number corresponding to the recycling process.

In addition to the conditions laid down by Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, the declaration of compliance for recycled plastic materials shall certify that:

  • the recycling process has been authorised. A precise indication of the EC register number for the process;
  • the plastic input, the recycling process and the recycled plastic meet the specifications for which the authorisation has been granted;
  • a quality assurance system is in place.
Key terms of the Act
  • Plastic functional barrier: a barrier composed of one or several layers of plastic material ensuring that the finished material or article does not release into food components in a quantity likely to:
    1. endanger human health, or
    2. bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or
    3. bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal

Regulation (EC) No 282/2008

17.4.2008

-

OJ L 86 of 28.3.2008

Last updated: 14.10.2011

See also

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