News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com The Food Packaging Forum makes scientific facts and expert opinions about food packaging health accessible and understandable to all Mon, 12 Feb 2024 09:33:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/european-commission-publishes-bisphenol-restriction-proposal-for-fcms Mon, 12 Feb 2024 09:33:15 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=340075 European Commission proposes ban on bisphenol A in food contact with a 36-month transition period for varnishes, coatings and professional production equipment, 18 months for most everything else; monitoring of unintentional BPA in recycled paper and board proposed to be left to business operators; submit comments until March 8, 2024

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On February 9, 2024, the European Commission published a draft regulation to ban bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) and other bisphenols in food contact materials. The draft proposes a ban on BPA in food contact materials (FCMs) with a 36-month transition period for varnishes and coatings and professional production equipment; and 18 months for everything else, with exemptions for: 

  • the disodium salt of bisphenol A specifically for the manufacture of polysulfone resins for plastic food contact membranes by way of amendment to Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic FCMs, provided that its migration into food is not detectable. 
  • continued synthesis of the starting substance BADGE (CAS 1675-54-3) using BPA, only for the manufacture of BADGE-based heavy-duty varnishes and coatings to be applied to materials and articles with a capacity of more than 250 liters, provided that migration of any residual BPA into food is not detected 
  • Up to 10 years for long-life products such as processing gaskets, etc.

Concerning BPA as a contaminate in FCMs made from recycled products, the proposal states, “it is neither practical nor proportionate to prohibit the unintentional presence of BPA in recycled materials”. It continues, “[m]onitoring by business operators and reporting to Member States for the unintentional presence of BPA in recycled paper and board food contact materials and articles should be established at Union level.” 

The draft regulation also restricts all other bisphenols for FCMs unless they are “first being risk assessed and authorised, to ensure that their use in the manufacture of food contact materials and articles does not endanger human health.” According to the Commission, this is already being done for all plastic FCMs under 10/2011.?/span> 

Currently available information says the restriction will come into force in late 2025 or early 2026 (FPF reported).  This regulatory proposal comes after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued an updated scientific opinion finding that current dietary exposure to BPA is unsafe and lowered the tolerable daily intake (TDI) by a factor of 20,000 (FPF reported). The draft is open for public comment until March 8, 2024. 

Track this and other opportunities to contribute to regulation on food contact chemicals and materials on the Food Packaging Forum consultations page, and get an overview of what is expected in the 2024 policy outlook.  

 

Reference 

European Commission (February 9, 2024). ?/span>Food safety ?restrictions on bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenols in food contact materials.”?/span> 

The post European Commission publishes bisphenol restriction proposal for FCMs first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/growing-concerns-around-industry-lobbying-in-the-eu Mon, 12 Feb 2024 07:04:41 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=340050 European Parliament opening internal investigation into lobbyist conduct related to the packaging and packaging waste regulation; civil society organization Corporate Europe Observatory publishes report of industry arguments made to DG Grow and DG Environment about the essential use concept

The post Growing concerns around industry lobbying in the EU first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
In late January 2024, both the European Parliament and the civil society organization Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) expressed concerns about corporate lobbying around EU lawmaking. According to reporting by Politico, Parliament President Roberta Metsola wrote in an internal email that the security department would open an investigation “on the behaviour and possible security breaches of interest representatives?pertaining to the drafting of the new packaging and packaging waste regulation (PPWR; FPF reported). At around the same time, CEO published an investigation into industry lobbying of the European Commission about the essential use concept.  

The packaging and packaging waste regulation has been the most lobbied political process in the EU. Politico reported, “MEP Mohammed Chahim accused lobbyists of following his colleagues into the toilet or entering their offices without permission ahead of a crucial vote in the Parliament in November.?Lobbyists have to follow a code of conduct which includes a register of those allowed, and depending on the results of the investigation, the individuals could be removed from the register.  

CEO reviewed more than 140 documents obtained from DG Environment and DG Grow concerning meetings and reports about the essential use concept with and from industry representatives dated October 2020 to March 2023. After reviewing the documents, the group outlined five arguments the industry organizations are making to politicians in public reports and behind closed doors about how to define essential use in the EU.  

Chief among these is the idea of “safe use??allowing the continued use of a substance if it can be demonstrated safe. However, CEO writes, “‘safe use?is pretty much the system we have today, which is clearly not sufficiently protective.?This would avoid incorporating the precautionary principle into EU chemicals policy. 

CEO suggests that the EU government “introduce a lobby firewall which, while permitting industry to submit evidence via open consultations and hearings, then protects policy-makers from further corporate lobbying so that they can take decisions that are truly in the public interests of health and environment.”?/span> 

 

References 

Leonie Cater (January 26, 2024). ?/span>Parliament probing lobbyists who fought sustainable packaging rules.?Politico 

Corporate Europe Observatory (January 24, 2024). ?/span>How “essential?are hazardous substances?: Industry is fighting to weaken new tool aimed at protecting health and ecosystems.”?/span> 

Read more 

Clelia Oziel (January 24, 2024). ?/span>Major NGO report exposes industry lobbying to soften EU ‘essential use?concept.?Enhesa 

ChemSec (April 27, 2023). ?/span>8 key points for the essential use concept.”?/span> 

Clelia Oziel (January 31, 2024). ?/span>EU citizens put safety at the heart of essential use debate.?Enhesa 

 

The post Growing concerns around industry lobbying in the EU first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/studies-review-human-exposures-and-effects-of-micro-and-nanoplastics Fri, 09 Feb 2024 07:28:58 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=340042 Studies review human exposures and effects of micro- and nanoplastics first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on January 8, 2024, in the journal PNAS, Naixin Qian from Columbia University, New York, US, and co-authors describe their development of a new hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering that can detect plastic particles at a single particle level and identify plastics in an automated manner. The method was confirmed to identify also nanoplastics, i.e., particles smaller than 1 µm as well as to differentiate between seven polymer types. Applying their methods to bottled water, the researchers reported finding between 130,000 and 240,000 fragments in one liter of water, of which 90% were nanoplastics. This exceeds previously reported levels between 10 to 100 times; however, the earlier studies have mostly focused on larger plastic particles. The authors “envision that the data-driven hyperspectral SRS imaging platform will continue bridging the gap of knowledge on plastic pollution at the nano level with an expanded spectral library to study more complicated biological and environmental samples.?/span> 

In another recent publication, Long Zhu from the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China, and co-authors analyzed microplastics in human lung, intestine, and tonsil tissue. In their article published January 12, 2024, in Science of the Total Environment, they describe collecting samples from 41 people and using laser direct infrared spectroscopy to identify microplastics with a size larger than 20 μm. The scientists detected microplastics in all tissues with average numbers of 14.19, 9.45, 7.91, and 6.3 particles/g in lung tissue, the small intestine, the large intestine, and tonsils, respectively. With 14.81 compared to 6.47 particles/L, abundance was higher in women than in men. Polymer identification showed that the particles were made of 14 different polymer types, with most being made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). 

Microplastics are not only present in the lung, intestines, and kidneys, but also in human blood and placenta (FPF reported also here). In an article published on January 3, 2024, in the journal Scientific Reports, Jenna Hanrahan from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, and co-authors analyzed the effects that PE microplastic exposure has on fetal growth and placental function in pregnant mice. They exposed pregnant mice to 106 ng/L of PE particles with a size of 740-4990 nm via drinking water with surfactants and compared it to effects from exposure to just drinking water with and without surfactants. Hanrahan and co-authors reported that microplastic exposure did not affect fetal growth, but it did have an impact on placental function. Umbilical artery blood flow was increased by 43% in microplastic-exposed mice compared to the control groups. The authors conclude that this “suggests polyethylene has the potential to cause adverse pregnancy outcomes through abnormal placental function.?/span> 

 

References 

Hanrahan, J. et al. (2024). ?/span>Maternal exposure to polyethylene micro- and nanoplastics impairs umbilical blood flow but not fetal growth in pregnant mice.?Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-50781-2 

Qian, N. et al. (2024). ?/span>Rapid single-particle chemical imaging of nanoplastics by SRS microscopy.?PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2300582121 

Zhu, L. et al. (2024). ?/span>Tissue accumulation of microplastics and potential health risks in human.?Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2300582121 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/new-eu-directive-targets-sustainability-labels-and-greenwashing-buzzwords Thu, 08 Feb 2024 12:22:11 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=340054 New EU Directive targets sustainability labels and greenwashing buzzwords first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On January 17, 2024, the European Parliament adopted a directive to curtail greenwashing claims in the European Union (593 for, 21 against, 14 abstentions). The directive will regulate the use of sustainability labels and ban environmental claims without proof. According to the Parliament, “only sustainability labels based on official certification schemes or established by public authorities will be allowed in the EU?and claims like “environmentally friendly?or “biodegradable?can’t be used without proof. Emissions offsets also cannot be used to make “climate neutral?or other related claims.  

The European Council still needs to give their official approval, at which point EU Member States have two years to incorporate the directive into national law.  

Confusion around terms such as “biodegradable? “compostable? and “plant-based?causes considerable consumer confusion (FPF reported). They lead to increased costs and trouble for waste managers at both composting and recycling facilities (FPF reported). 

At a meeting held by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), a certification organization, in October 2023, compost company representatives from the US and Canada discussed the problems that come from contamination within the organic waste stream. Reporting on the event by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition quotes Erin Skelly of the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility explaining that, “oxodegradable, biodegradable, eco-friendly, and all-natural are not standards and can be very misleading for consumers?(FPF reported). Workers at organic waste facilities have to spend time picking out plastic bags and other products that don’t have an official, understood degradability certification.  

A survey of US consumers published in July 2023 found that half of respondents do not dispose of packaging correctly and do not understand the difference between compostable and biodegradable (FPF reported). The Food Packaging Forum published a factsheet on bioplastics to help alleviate confusion on the subject, and it is available in English, Spanish, and French.   

The European Parliament’s new directive comes in addition to the Green Claims Directive announced in March 2023 (FPF reported). “The upcoming green claims directive will be more specific and elaborate the conditions for using environmental claims in greater detail.?/span> 

 

References 

European Parliament (January 17, 2024). ?/span>MEPs adopt new law banning greenwashing and misleading product information.”?/span> 

Savannah Guinyard (November 7, 2023). ?/span>In search of the cleanest compost: Highlights from BPI’s inaugural summit.?Sustainable Packaging Coalition 

Read more 

Shanda Moorghen (January 18, 2024). ?/span>European Parliament adopts ban on misleading environmental claims.?Enhesa  

European Parliament (September 19, 2023). ?/span>EU to ban greenwashing and improve consumer information on product durability.”?/span> 

Adrian Zender (January 31, 2024). ?/span>Compostable coffee capsules: Rarely easily degradable.?SRF (in German).  

The post New EU Directive targets sustainability labels and greenwashing buzzwords first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/review-summarizes-current-picture-of-human-centric-micro-and-nanoplastics-research Thu, 08 Feb 2024 07:23:59 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=340038 Review summarizes current picture of ‘human-centric?micro- and nanoplastics research first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> Sybren De Boever of the Free University of Brussels and colleagues reviewed the “human-centric?scientific literature concerning microplastics and published their findings in Science of the Total Environment on January 23, 2024. To provide an overview of what is known that concerns humans directly, De Boever et al. summarize the available literature on sources of microplastics, exposure routes and levels, deposition in the body, and confirmed health effects.  

For the known sources of microplastic exposure to humans, the authors gathered the size, shape, and polymer type of the measured particles from those sources as reported in published peer-reviewed studies. Known sources of exposure include packaged food (FPF reported), takeaway containers (FPF reported), bottled and tap water (FPF reported), tea bags (FPF reported), and cutting boards along with non-food contact sources including cosmetics, clothes, and environmental pollution. Additionally, the authors reviewed the literature for measurements of particle exposure via inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact (FPF reported). Finally, they documented locations in the human body where microplastic particles have been found (FPF reported).  

The article provides a concise overview of the field of research on human health effects from microplastics as it currently stands. De Boever and co-authors point out that technology currently limits the ability to detect nanoparticles but highlight that “the particle degradation dogma speculates that microplastic detection simultaneously signifies the presence of undetectable nanoplastics.?They conclude by encouraging researchers “to shift their focus towards environmentally relevant particles in terms of plastic type, particle origin and surface charge.? 

 

Reference

De Boever, S. et al. (2024). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969724003978" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Unraveling the micro- and nanoplastic predicament: A human-centric insight.?Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170262 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/immediate-ban-on-foamware-announced-by-lagos-state-nigeria Wed, 07 Feb 2024 13:03:35 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=340034 Nigerian states of Lagos and Abia ban single-use polystyrene foam packaging “with immediate effect? give three weeks to use up current stock; other single use plastic products will also be targeted later in 2024; federal Ministry of Environment also banning single-use plastics at headquarters and agencies

The post Immediate ban on foamware announced by Lagos State, Nigeria first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
On January 21, 2024, Tokunbo Wahab, Commissioner of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources for the state of Lagos, Nigeria announced via Twitter/X that “the Lagos State government through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources is hereby announcing a ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics in the State with immediate effect.?/span> 

According to information from the state of Lagos, distributors and sellers of polystyrene foam packaging were given three weeks to “mop [up] the products in circulation?before the state would begin enforcement. In the weeks since the announcement, people from the Ministry have been visiting markets to educate vendors about the ban and the planned enforcement.  

Current actions focus on polystyrene foam, but further rules on other types of single-use plastic products are expected later in 2024. In a statement, Wahab said, “[o]ur state cannot be held hostage to the economic interests of a few wealthy business owners compared to the millions of Lagosians suffering the consequences of indiscriminate dumping of single-use plastics and other types of waste.”?/span> 

According to reporting from Pulse, the US-Nigeria Trade Council has expressed concerns over the sudden implementation of the ban.  

A few days after the announcement from Lagos, the state of Abia followed. Business Post summarized statements from Abia’s Commissioner for Environment, Philemon Ogbonna, that “the use of takeaway packs in the state had already been banned by the state government, but the implementation was relaxed.?However, he emphasized that this time, “the state government was serious about the prohibition and would deal decisively with defaulters.?/span> 

At the federal level, the Nigerian Ministry of Environment also announced in January 2024 that it will no longer use single-use plastics at its headquarters and agencies.  

 

References 

Tokunbo Wahab (January 21, 2024). ?/span>Tweet announcing SUP ban in Lagos state.?Twitter/X

O. Olasunkanmi (January 22, 2024). ?/span>Lagos announces ban on usage of styrofoams, single use plastics.?Lagos State Government.

TVC Entertainment (January 29, 2024). ?/span>Styrofoam Ban; Lagos Postpones Enforcement By 3 Weeks || YourViewTVC LIVE.?YouTube 

Modupe Gbadeyanka (January 29, 2024). ?/span>Styrofoam foils after Lagos.?Business Post

O. Olasunkanmi (February 1, 2024). ?/span>Ban on styrofoam: LAWMA, MAN brainstorm.?Lagos State Government

Oyenike Oyeniyi (January 13, 2024). ?/span>Environment Ministry Bans Single-Use Plastics At Headquarters, Agencies.?Voice of Nigeria 

Read more 

Oluyemi Ogunseyin (January 22, 2024). ?/span>Lagos bans single-use plastics with ‘immediate effect?/span>.?Guardian 

Cristen Hemngway Jaynes (January 22, 2024). ?/span>Nigeria’s Lagos State Bans Single-Use Plastics and Styrofoam.?EcoWatch 

(January 23, 2024). ?/span>US-Nigeria Trade Council warns Lagos Govt against immediate plastic ban.?Pulse 

Ferdinand Omondi (January 23, 2024). ?/span>Greenpeace Africa Lauds Nigeria’s Lagos State Plastic Ban.?Greenpeace 

Samuel Bolaji (January 26, 2024). ?/span>LASG gives styrofoam makers three weeks to clear stock.?Punch NG 

Temitope O. Sogbanmu (January 30, 2024). ?/span>Nigeria’s plastic ban: why it’s good and how it can work.?The Conversation 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/food-contact-chemicals-among-921-substances-tied-to-breast-cancer-risk Thu, 01 Feb 2024 16:06:18 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339982 Food contact chemicals among 921 substances tied to breast cancer risk first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on January 10, 2024, in Environmental Health Perspectives, Jennifer E. Kay and co-authors from the Silent Spring Institute and the University of California, Berkeley published a list they developed of over 900 chemicals with evidence that they may increase breast cancer risk.  

The researchers reviewed information from “authoritative databases,?including International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ToxCast to find which chemicals have been found to induce mammary tumors in rodents. Then they looked at multiple aspects of endocrine activity and genotoxicity of these chemicals to assess the key characteristics of rodent mammary carcinogens, and to identify other chemicals that exhibit these effects and may, therefore, increase breast cancer risk (FPF reported also here).  

In all, Kay and co-authors found 921 “breast cancer relevant exposures.?These “exposures?are substances that are known to either directly contribute to breast cancer development in rodents (in vivo evidence) or share key endocrine disrupting or genotoxic characteristics (mechanistic evidence) with those carcinogens. This is a significant expansion from when the list was first developed in 2007.  

Of the 921 breast cancer-relevant chemicals found by Kay and co-authors, 189 have been measured in food contact articles according to the Food Packaging Forum’s database on migrating and extractable food contact chemicals (FCCmigex). Migration experiments more closely resemble real-use situations but even when limiting FCCmigex results to migration, 121 breast cancer relevant chemicals have still been detected.  

Three-quarters of the breast cancer relevant food contact chemicals (FCCs) were detected in food contact articles made with plastic, but all material groups except glass* contained some of the chemicals (see Figure 1. *note: some of these chemicals may be in metal closures of glass containers).  

play baccarat online liveLin k?t ??ng nh?pFigure 1. The number of breast cancer relevant substances from Kay et al.’s list that have been detected in migration or extraction studies of five food contact material groups.

In the study, the authors call for a significant improvement of hazard identification methodologies related to chemical use in everyday products. This includes enhanced assessments focusing on the effects of these compounds on the mammary gland, the development of assays for a broader range of chemicals, and a more comprehensive approach to chemical testing.  

FPF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Jane Muncke, together with 20 other scientists recently published a vision for safer food contact materials that discusses some of the same concerns (FPF reported). Muncke et al. developed the six clusters of disease concept, which highlights prevalent and increasingly concerning non-communicable diseases linked to chemical exposures: cancers, cardiovascular diseases, as well as reproductive, brain-related, immunological, and metabolic disorders. The vision proposes a novel approach for testing FCCs that includes assessing the health impacts of FCCs and real-life mixtures with respect to the most prevalent non-communicable diseases in the human population.  

The ten most-often-detected breast cancer relevant chemicals in food contact articles are (see also Figure 2): 

  • Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (CAS 117-81-7) 
  • Dibutyl phthalate (CAS 84-74-2) 
  • Bisphenol A (CAS 80-05-7) 
  • Diisobutyl phthalate (CAS 84-69-5) 
  • Benzophenone (CAS 119-61-9) 
  • Diethyl phthalate (CAS 84-66-2) 
  • Benzyl butyl phthalate (CAS 85-68-7) 
  • Styrene (CAS 100-42-5) 
  • Dimethyl phthalate (CAS 131-11-3) 
  • Irganox 1010 (CAS 6683-19-8)

 

play baccarat online liveLin k?t ??ng nh?pFigure 2. The ten most studied food contact chemicals included in Kay et al.’s list of breast cancer relevant substances. Bars represent the number of times it has been detected in migration or extraction experiments from a food contact article, color represents the material of the article.

Many of these breast cancer-relevant FCCs have been under scrutiny at multiple regulatory jurisdictions in recent months and years. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2023 lowered the tolerable daily intake for bisphenol A (BPA) by a factor of 20,000 (FPF reported). The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a decision on BPA this year (FPF reported) while Washington State banned bisphenol-based can liners entirely and has a plan to reduce citizen exposure to phthalates (FPF reported). The European Chemicals Agency recently expanded its substances of very high concern (SVHC) listing for dibutyl phthalate (FPF reported) and has suggested regulating phthalates as a group due to reprotoxic and endocrine disrupting properties (FPF reported). In Europe there is a specific migration limit for phthalates in platic FCMs, but EFSA is currently conducting preparatory work for the re-evaluation of phthalates, structurally similar substances, and replacement substances that are potentially used as plasticizers in food contact materials (FPF reported). 

This concern for chemical testing and regulation is reflected by Kay et al. who “argue that many of these [chemicals] should not be considered low hazard without investigating their ability to affect the breast, and chemicals with the strongest evidence can be targeted for exposure reduction.”?/span> 

 

Reference 

Kay, Jennifer E., et al. (2024). ?/span>Application of the key characteristics framework to identify potential breast carcinogens using publicly available in vivo, in vitro, and in silico data.?Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI 10.1289/EHP13233 

Read more 

Jones, R.R. and A.J. White. 2024. ?/span>New Motivations and Future Directions for Investigating Environmental Risk Factors for Breast Cancer.?Environmental Health Perspectives. DOI: 10.1289/EHP13777 

Liza Gross (January 10, 2024). ?/span>More Than 900 Widely Used Chemicals May Increase Breast Cancer Risk.?Inside Climate News. 

Silent Spring Institute (January 10, 2024). ?/span>More than 900 chemicals, many found in consumer products and the environment, display breast-cancer causing traits.”?/span> 

The post Food contact chemicals among 921 substances tied to breast cancer risk first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/paper-straws-not-safer-than-plastic-straws-scientists-find Tue, 30 Jan 2024 08:44:06 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339950 Paper straws not safer than plastic straws, scientists find first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on January 20, 2024, in the journal Food Packaging and Shelf Life, Elena Canellas from the University of Zaragoza, Spain, and co-authors investigated the chemicals released from printed paper straws into soda, and their safety for humans. 

The researchers purchased a total of nine paper straws – printed and not printed – made in China by three different manufacturers, and performed migration experiments with a carbonated drink for 30 min at 70 °C. To analyze non-volatile migrants, they used ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography with ion mobility quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-IM-Q/TOF) which allows the identification of unknown compounds in complex samples in combination with advanced statistical analysis (principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projection to latent structures discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA)). 

Canellas and co-authors detected that 19 chemicals had migrated from straws into soda samples in individual concentrations, between 0.015 and 3.6 mg chemical per kg soda. PCA demonstrated differences in migrating chemicals between the straws of the three manufacturers suggesting that they use different additives in their production. For instance, the photoinitiators 2,2-dimethoxy-2-phenylacetophenone (CAS 24650-42-8) and diphenyl (2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide (CAS 75980-60-8), and the dye, rhodamine B (CAS 81-88-9), were three compounds found to migrate from some of the printed straws. Many of the migrating compounds “were additives typically found in plastic products.? 

The scientists were further interested in whether the migrating levels could be considered safe. Currently, Europe has no harmonized regulation specific to paper, board, inks, and coatings as food contact materials, but some national regulations exist in France, the Netherlands, Germany, and elsewhere. Due to the absence of a harmonized European regulation, Canellas et al. compared their findings to the specific migration limits (SMLs) established for plastic food contact materials (Regulation (EU) No 10/2011), finding that migration of the primary aromatic amine and suspected carcinogen 4,4?methylenedianiline (CAS 101-77-9) exceeded its regulatory SML. In addition, two recognized endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), bis(2-ethylbutyl)phthalate (CAS 7299-89-0) and dioctyl phthalate (CAS 117-84-0), were among the migrating compounds.   

The authors concluded this “suggest[s] that paper straws may not be the safest alternative to plastic straws in terms of food safety.?/span> 

EU Directive 2019/904 banned many single-use plastic products in the EU from 2021, including plastic drinking straws (FPF reported), leading many manufacturers to produce paper drinking straws as an alternative. In 2019, the Swiss government laboratory tested 12 paper straws and found them to contain chloropropanols, mineral oils, and photoinitiators (FPF reported). Besides a safety challenge, paper straws are also considered a recycling challenge, according to McDonald’s (FPF reported). Straws labeled as “plant-based? and “biodegradable?do not seem better according to a study that detected per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in 36 out of the 38 tested products (FPF reported). 

 

Reference 

Baker, B. H. et al. (2024). ?/span>Exploring soda contamination coming from paper straws through ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with an ion mobility-quadrupole time-of-flight analyzer and advanced statistical analysis.?Food Packaging and Shelf Life. DOI: 10.1016/j.fpsl.2024.101237 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/four-food-contact-chemicals-added-to-svhc-candidate-list Mon, 29 Jan 2024 09:39:56 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339927 European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) adds five new chemicals to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC) and expands listing of a sixth; five of the six have been measured in food contact articles; listing obligates producers and suppliers to provide safety information and to notify ECHA; candidate list now contains 240 substances

The post Four food contact chemicals added to SVHC candidate list first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
On January 23, 2024, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) added five chemicals to its Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) and expanded the listing of dibutyl phthalate.  

According to the Food Packaging Forum’s Database on migrating and extractable food contact chemicals (FCCmigex), four of the five new substances, as well as dibutyl phthalate, have been detected in migration or extraction experiments. Two have been listed for intentional use in food contact applications according to FPF’s Food Contact Chemicals Database (FCCdb). The five FCCs along with the FPF database they are found in are:?/span> 

  • 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol (CAS 732-26-3); FCCmigex? FCCdb 
  • 2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol (UV-329, CAS 3147-75-9); FCCmigex? FCCdb 
  • 2-(dimethylamino)-2-[(4-methylphenyl)methyl]-1-[4-(morpholin-4-yl)phenyl]butan-1-one?CAS 119344-86-4); FCCmigex? FCCdb 
  • Bumetrizole (CAS 3896-11-5); FCCmigex?/span> 
  • Dibutyl phthalate, (updated entry, CAS 84-74-2); FCCmigex? FCCdb 

FPF submitted comments to ECHA after the announcement that the chemicals were being considered for the Candidate List (FPF reported). In the comments, FPF highlighted that two of the new Candidates are included in Annex 1 of the EU Regulation on food contact materials ((EU) No 10/2011) ?the positive list for authorized chemicals in plastic food contact materials (FCMs). REACH ((EU) 2020/2096) demands the substitution of SVHCs by safer alternatives in industrial products, processes, and in consumer articles solely based on their intrinsic hazard properties, not based on their risk (where both hazard properties and exposure levels are considered). However, the human health effects of FCMs are excluded from the REACH authorization process. This means that if a substance becomes an SVHC under REACH this substance’s authorization under Annex 1 is not immediately affected and consequently, known SVHCs can still be used legally in FCMs. 

All EU producers of these chemicals or suppliers of products containing chemicals on the SVHC candidate list above a concentration of 0.1% by weight must provide safety information to consumers for safe use of the chemicals and/or products. Companies are also required to notify ECHA under REACH and under the Waste Framework Directive for inclusion in the SCIP database (FPF reported). There are currently 240 chemicals on?/span>ECHA’s Candidate List.?/span> 

 

Reference 

ECHA (January 23, 2024). ?/span>ECHA adds five hazardous chemicals to the Candidate List.?/span> 

The post Four food contact chemicals added to SVHC candidate list first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/indonesia-updating-national-regulation-on-food-contact-materials Wed, 24 Jan 2024 11:07:05 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339901 Indonesia updating national regulation on food contact materials first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> Indonesia’s Food and Drug Authority (BPOM) published a draft regulation on food contact materials (FCMs) in October 2023. The final version will be published sometime in 2024 and come into force one year after publication.  

The draft regulation slightly reorganizes the categories of FCMs in Indonesian regulation. In the current regulation, which came into force in 2020, printing inks and coatings are an FCM category the same level as, for example, plastics or glass (FPF reported). In the proposed update, printing inks and coatings are no longer a separate FCM category. Even without these two categories, BPOM has expanded the covered material types, and components like ink, coating, adhesive, and other functions are now highlighted chemical-by-chemical in lists in the annex.

The material groups are:

  1. Plastics
  2. Rubber and elastomers
  3. Paper and board 
  4. Ceramics 
  5. Glass 
  6. Metal and metal alloys 
  7. Multilayer materials  

Each material type has general migration requirements with special requirements by sub-type. For example, all plastic materials have a general migration limit of 60 mg/kg while specific polymers have special migration limits for starting substances or applicable chemicals of concern. Some examples:  

  • Melamine-formaldehyde resin (melamine) has maximum migration limits for both starting substances, 2.5 and 3 mg/kg, respectively. Plus, the added limitation that it is not to be used in microwaveable containers.  
  • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has migration limits for ethylene glycol (CAS 107-21-1), diethylene glycol (CAS 111-46-6), acetaldehyde (CAS 75-07-0), terephthalic acid (CAS 100-21-0), isophthalic acid (121-91-5, and antimony trioxide (CAS 1309-64-4) 
  • While polylactic acid (PLA) and polypropylene (PP) have no special requirements and substances are subject to the general 60mg/kg for plastics 

The FCM migration testing guidelines included in the draft consider the type of packaged or processed food (e.g., dairy, baked goods) and the “worst case?contact time and temperature between the material and food item.  

The draft regulation includes a set of annexes with lists of chemicals, the materials they are known to be used in, their function, and migration limit. These annexes include: (i) 115 permitted substances with migration limits; (ii) 1372 permitted substances without a specific migration limit; and (iii) 142 substances prohibited for use. The prohibited substances list also applies to components of a food contact article including inks, dyes, adhesives, etc.  

For other policy updates expected in the coming year, review FPF’s 2024 policy outlook as well as the consultations page.  

 

Reference 

BPOM (October 31, 2023). ?/span>Provisional regulation of the Food and Drug Authority concerning food packaging.?(in Indonesian) 

Read more 

Jerry Wang (January 5, 2024). ?Indonesia consults on the food packaging regulation.?ChemLinked 

SGS (January 10, 2024). ?/span>Indonesia issues draft law on food contact materials.”?/span> 

The post Indonesia updating national regulation on food contact materials first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/2024-food-contact-chemical-and-material-policy-outlook Mon, 22 Jan 2024 13:37:43 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339888 2024 food contact chemical and material policy outlook first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> European Union

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) highlighted in a report published in November 2023 that key regulatory challenges for ECHA and the EU are to (i) provide protection against most harmful chemicals, (ii) address chemical pollution in the environment, as well as to (iii) improve the availability of chemical data. Multiple EU policies expected to be up for comment or finalized in 2024 address one or more of these challenges.

Q1 2024

Packaging and packaging waste regulation. After considerable public debate and private lobbying throughout 2023 (FPF reported), the European Commission, Parliament, and Council have adopted positions on the proposal (FPF reported here and here) and should decide the final shape of the PPWR regulation in early 2024.

Restrictions on bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenols in food contact materials. The draft restriction is late but there are rumors that a draft act will be available soon. The BPA restriction was originally scheduled for adoption in Q1 2024 but draft publication, at least one round of public consultation, and the final policy debate remains. Currently available information says the restriction will come into force in late 2025 or early 2026 (FPF reported).

Microplastics pollution ?measures to reduce its impact on the environment. The final public feedback period for this initiative ended on January 17, 2024. The feedback will be summarized by the European Commission and given to the European Parliament and Council to create the final version.

Following a cargo spill of plastic nurdles off the coast of Spain on January 10, 2024, discussion has increased around controls of shipping nurdles and other plastic production components within the EU. Originally, this aspect of microplastic pollution control was going to be left to the International Maritime Organization. Sri Lanka asked the IMO to increase shipment controls of all plastic pellets, flakes, and powders following a disaster there in May 2021 (FPF reported).

Q3 2024

Chemicals legislation ?revision of REACH Regulation to help achieve a toxic-free environment. The revision is running late but the Commission confirmed in December 2023 that it will continue to move forward. However, publication of the draft will not be available until after the next parliamentary term begins in June 2024. Originally, the REACH revision was planned for early 2023. The delay has been a source of consternation for civil society organizations and Member States (FPF reported also here).

Q4 2024

PVC mandate. ECHA supports restricting some additives used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic products and tightening controls of PVC microplastics (FPF reported) but the final decision is up to the Commission.

2025

Revision of EU rules on food contact materials. Originally scheduled for 2023, the FCM revision has had many delays (FPF reported). A report on IT infrastructure requirements for the revision is expected in “spring 2024?and another report on “sustainable packaging?should come out later in 2024 but the policy impact assessment and public consultation may not come until 2025.

The planning for, and subsequent delay of, the FCM regulation may be a contributing factor in the pause and delay of the following:

Food safety ?plastic food contact materials (FCMs) (update to quality control rules). Meant to align rules between Regulation (EU) 10/2011 on plastic FCMs with the regulation on recycled plastics and the regulation on biocidal products. It would also affect migration testing procedures. Originally scheduled for adoption in Q2 2023.

Food safety ?heavy metals in ceramic, glass and enameled table and kitchenware. There has been no movement on this initiative since the roadmap feedback period closed in June 2019. Public consultation was originally scheduled for Q4 2022.

 

United States

Q1/Q2 2024

Follow-up is expected from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about both the finalized National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution (FPF reported) and the potential expansion of the Safer Choice Program to new product categories (FPF reported). The public comment periods for the plastics strategy and the Safer Choice expansion closed in July and September 2023, respectively. When the conclusions from these comment periods will be published is unknown but early 2024 seems feasible.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to act on multiple pending petitions early this year, including one related to defining key terms related to considering cumulative effects of food contact, GRAS, or other substances in the food system, and another on whether BPA should be allowed as a food contact substance. Responses to both petitions are well overdue.

2024

FDA announced in August 2023 that it is revamping its process to reassess food contact substances after release on the market (FPF reported). The agency is currently undergoing work to restructure its food program following public outcry from investigative reporting (FPF reported) and subsequent analysis by both a congressional watchdog (FPF reported) and an independent panel (FPF reported). As such, potentially a lot of change may come this year though, again, dates remain unknown.

 

United Nations Environment Program (Plastics Treaty)

Several people at FPF are members of the Scientists?Coalition and plan to continue participating in the final two meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment this year (FPF reported). The Scientists?Coalition has multiple policy briefs already published and additional ones in development to assist in policy discussions before and during the upcoming negotiations.

April 19-30

Meeting 4 of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution in Ottawa, Canada.

November 25 ?December 1

Meeting 5 of the INC on Plastic Pollution in Busan, South Korea

 

United Nations Environment Program (SPP)

The Intergovernmental Science Policy Panel on Chemicals, Waste, and Pollution Prevention is continuing to be developed in 2024 (FPF reported). FPF is not participating directly but keeping an eye on progress.

June 17 ?21, 2024

Open Ended Working Group -3

 

Other Regions

Indonesia’s new national policy on food contact materials should be published in 2024 (FPF reported).

While discussions around food contact materials and chemicals are very active and get significant public attention in Europe and North America, many other regions around the world are engaged in FCM-related policy initiatives. The Food Packaging Forum strives to share policy initiatives through our news and track opportunities to provide input during planned consultations. If you know of other initiatives, please share them with us. Initiatives being made by private industry through food brands and retailers are tracked within FPF’s BRID platform.

 

References

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12497-Revision-of-EU-rules-on-food-contact-materials_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Revision of EU rules on food contact materials.?/p>

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13501-Food-safety-plastic-food-contact-materials-FCMs-update-to-quality-control-rules-_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Food safety ?plastic food contact materials (FCMs) (update to quality control rules).?/p>

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/2074-Food-safety-heavy-metals-in-ceramic-glass-and-enameled-table-and-kitchenware_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Food safety ?heavy metals in ceramic, glass and enameled table and kitchenware.?/p>

Revision of EU Rules on FCMs

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12823-Microplastics-pollution-measures-to-reduce-its-impact-on-the-environment_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Microplastics pollution ?measures to reduce its impact on the environment.?/p>

Marta Pacheco (January 12, 2024). ?a href="//www.euronews.com/green/2024/01/12/spanish-plastic-pellet-spill-galvanises-eu-efforts-to-limit-microplastic-pollution" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Spanish plastic pellet spill galvanises EU efforts to limit microplastic pollution.?EuroNews

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13832-Food-safety-restrictions-on-bisphenol-A-BPA-and-other-bisphenols-in-food-contact-materials_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Food safety ?restrictions on bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenols in food contact materials.?/p>

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12959-Chemicals-legislation-revision-of-REACH-Regulation-to-help-achieve-a-toxic-free-environment_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Chemicals legislation ?revision of REACH Regulation to help achieve a toxic-free environment.?/p>

US EPA. ?a href="//www.epa.gov/saferchoice" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Safer Choice.?/p>

US EPA. ?a href="//www.epa.gov/circulareconomy/draft-national-strategy-prevent-plastic-pollution" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution.?/p>

US FDA (2022). ?a href="//www.regulations.gov/docket/FDA-2022-F-1108" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Environmental Defense Fund, Maricel Maffini, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Consumer Reports, Endocrine Society, Environmental Working Group, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, and the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University; Filing of Food Additive Petition.?Regulations.gov

US FDA (2020). ?a href="//www.regulations.gov/docket/FDA-2020-P-2003" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Requests that the FDA define key terms essential to consider the cumulative effect of a food additive, food contact substance, generally recognized as safe substance, or color additive, taking into account any chemically- or pharmacologically-related substances in the diet, when assessing safety as required by law.?Regulations.gov

UNEP. ?a href="//www.unep.org/inc-plastic-pollution/session-4" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Fourth Session (INC-4).?/p>

UNEP. ?a href="//www.unep.org/inc-plastic-pollution/session-5" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Fifth Session (INC-5).?/p>

UNEP. ?a href="//www.unep.org/oewg-spp-chemicals-waste-pollution" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Ad hoc open-ended working group on a science-policy panel on chemicals, waste and pollution prevention.?/p>  

Read more

European Council (December 18, 2023). “Packaging and packaging waste: Council adopts its negotiating position on new rules for more sustainable packaging in the EU.”

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13161-Chemicals-making-best-use-of-EU-agencies-to-streamline-scientific-assessments_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Streamlining EU-level scientific and technical work on chemicals.?/p>

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13459-Chemical-safety-better-access-to-chemicals-data-for-safety-assessments_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Chemical safety ?better access to chemicals data for safety assessments.?/p>

European Commission. ?a href="//ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13750-Hazardous-chemicals-prohibiting-production-for-export-of-chemicals-banned-in-the-European-Union_en" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Hazardous chemicals ?prohibiting production for export of chemicals banned in the European Union.?/p>

Vanessa Zainziger (April 18, 2023). ?a href="//product.enhesa.com/729266/commission-inches-towards-eu-fcm-revision-impact-assessment-by-2025" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Commission inches towards EU FCM revision impact assessment by 2025.?Enhesa

Cailey Gleeson (December 21, 2023). ?a href="//product.enhesa.com/932056/us-health-department-starts-formal-review-of-proposed-fda-foods-programme-redesign" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">US health department starts formal review of proposed FDA foods programme redesign.?Enhesa

Clelia Oziel (December 8, 2023). ?a href="//product.enhesa.com/916334/eu-commission-reaffirms-commitment-to-reach-revision" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">EU Commission reaffirms commitment to REACH revision.?/a> Enhesa

The post 2024 food contact chemical and material policy outlook first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/ultra-processed-food-intake-can-increase-human-exposure-to-phthalates-and-microplastics Mon, 22 Jan 2024 08:58:39 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339880 Ultra-processed food intake can increase human exposure to phthalates and microplastics first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on January 6, 2024, in the journal Environment International, Brennan H. Baker from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, United States, and co-authors evaluated if the consumption of ultra-processed food during pregnancy influences phthalate exposure, while also discussing socioeconomic disparities related to this exposure.

The study cohort consisted of 1031 pregnant women from the Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood (CANDLE) Study. The women filled out a questionnaire (Block Food Frequency Questionnaire), noting their consumption of 114 food and beverage items during their second trimester and also provided urine samples. Frequencies of participant’s intake of all foods, both ultra-, and minimally- processed, were summed up. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, 16 phthalate metabolites and phthalic acid (CAS 88-99-3), were measured in second trimester urine.

The study showed that the women’s?diets were composed of 9.8 – 59% of ultra-processed foods, defined as industrial formulations typically with 5 or more (often many more) ingredients according to the NOVA food processing classification system (used by Baker et al.). The scientists reported that “each 10 % higher dietary proportion of ultra-processed foods was associated with 13.1 %?higher urinary levels of the molar sum of five di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites (ΣDEHP). Conversely, a higher intake of minimally processed food related to lower urinary ΣDEHP. Further, ΣDEHP urinary concentration increased especially with increased intake of (ultra-processed) hamburgers/cheeseburgers, followed by French fries, sodas, and cakes.

Furthermore, the results “indicated that lower income and education levels were associated with 1.9 % (0.2 %-4.2 %) and 1.4 % (0.1 %-3.3 %) higher ΣDEHP, respectively, mediated via increased ultra-processed food consumption.?The authors highlighted that socioeconomic barriers prevent consumers from following dietary recommendations aimed at reducing phthalate exposure. This, according to the authors, makes it necessary that policies mandate changes in food packaging and processing equipment, to reduce phthalate exposure for the entire population.

It is well-established that phthalates are present in several types of foods and beverages (FPF reported), especially fast foods (FPF reported and here). They have been linked to several human health outcomes including endocrine-disrupting effects (FPF reported and here), cardiovascular disease (FPF reported), and behavioral disorders (FPF reported). Current regulatory ‘safe?limits were shown to be insufficiently protective of human health (FPF reported). Besides the packaging, phthalates can also stem from food processing (FPF reported) and dairy farming equipment (FPF reported).

Another study shows that ultra-processed food is not only an exposure source for chemicals but also microplastics. Madeleine H. Milne from the University of Toronto, Canada, and co-authors investigated the plastic particle levels in various US protein-rich food products, including seafood, terrestrial meats, and plant-based foods. In their article, published on December 28, 2023, in the journal Environmental Pollution, the authors describe that they aimed to assess how processing levels, as well as the packaging material and food brand, influence microplastic contamination of foodstuffs.

For their research, they purchased 111 samples in and around Portland, Oregon, US, covering 13 protein types and classified them into three processing levels: (1) “unprocessed? obtained unmodified from vessels (e.g. shrimp), (2) “minimally-processed? bought cut and packaged in plastic in grocery stores (e.g., chicken breast), and (3) “highly-processed?which were significantly processed before being packaged (e.g., plant-based nuggets, tofu block). All samples were chemically digested and sieved such that plastic particles > 50 µm could be identified. Suspected plastic particles were analyzed by dissecting microscopy and spectroscopic methods (Raman and µ-FTIR). The researchers reported microplastics to be present in 88% of the samples and in all types of products tested. Mean particle concentrations per product type ranged from 0.01 particles/g in chicken breast to 1.3 particles/g in breaded shrimp. The comparison of different types of samples showed that microplastic levels were significantly higher in highly-processed compared to minimally-processed products. The authors speculate that contact with plastic food processing equipment increases as food processing increases, leading to higher levels of microplastics in ultra-processed foods. Conversely, they “found little evidence to suggest packaging is a major source of contamination in the products studied.?Only seven protein samples contained microplastics with characteristics that matched those of the packaging. However, the study only captured particles > 50 µm meaning that, if plastic particles below that size had been assessed, the findings might indicate a larger influence of the plastic packaging. No significant differences were found between seafood, terrestrial meats, and plant-based proteins, and neither between different grocery store types, nor different product brands. Milne and co-authors also calculated the mean annual exposure of US adults to microplastics via the consumption of the studied proteins which was 11,000 ± 29,000 particles but could reach up to 3.8 million microplastics per year.  

References

Baker, B. H. et al. (2024). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412024000138?via%3Dihub" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Ultra-processed and fast food consumption, exposure to phthalates during pregnancy, and socioeconomic disparities in phthalate exposures.?Environment International. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2024.108427

Milne, H. M. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749123022352?via%3Dihub" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Exposure of U.S. adults to microplastics from commonly-consumed proteins.?Environmental Pollution. DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.123233

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/report-finds-harmful-chemicals-widespread-in-packaged-and-processed-foods Tue, 16 Jan 2024 08:00:27 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339861 Report by Consumer Reports analyzed 85 different packaged foods for bisphenols and phthalates; detects BPA and phthalates in majority of products with wide ranging concentrations; authors emphasize difficulty of assessing “safe levels?/p> The post Report finds harmful chemicals widespread in packaged and processed foods first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On January 4, 2024, Consumer Reports (CR) published a report investigating the presence of plastic chemicals in U.S. packaged foods. The study found that bisphenol A (BPA, 80-05-7) and phthalates are widespread in processed and packaged foods, even those labeled as organic. Both chemicals have been linked to a number of health problems, including reproductive and developmental issues, and cancer in BPA’s case (FPF reported, also here and here). 

The study tested 85 foods, including fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and dairy products, packaged in cans, pouches, foil, or other materials. Bisphenols were detected in 79% of the tested samples, albeit with significantly lower levels than in a previous study in 2009, CR says. Phthalates were found in all but one food with much higher levels than for the bisphenols, ranging from less than 1,000 ng per serving to more than 50,000 in one sample. The amounts detected in the foods were below regulatory limits, however, the authors emphasize that “it’s difficult to quantify what a safe limit would be for a single food? and “[…] there is no level that scientists have confirmed as safe […]?(FPF reported). 

In April 2023, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an updated Scientific Opinion on BPA where the tolerable daily intake (TDI) was reduced by a factor of 20,000 compared to the previous level determined in 2015 to a TDI of 0.2 ng/kg bodyweight per day (FPF reported).  

According to CR, these findings are concerning, especially with growing research showing that some of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors (FPF reported and here). They urge chemical companies “to step up, by creating safer, more sustainable materials.?/span> 

 

Reference 

Lauren F. Friedman (January 4, 2024). ?/span>The plastic chemicals hiding in your food.?Consumer Reports 

Read more 

Bailee Henderson (January 5, 2024). ?/span>High levels of toxic plasticizers phthalates, bisphenols found in nearly all foods in U.S.?Food Safety Magazine 

European Food Safety Authority (April 19, 2023). ?/span>Bisphenol A in food is a health risk.?/span> 

The post Report finds harmful chemicals widespread in packaged and processed foods first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/georgia-aligning-food-contact-policy-with-eu Mon, 15 Jan 2024 07:11:34 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339842 Georgia aligning food contact policy with EU first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On November 14, 2023, the government of Georgia published a new regulation limiting the migration of lead (CAS 7439-92-1) and cadmium (CAS 7440-43-9) from ceramic food contact articles.  

The Georgian regulation brings the country in line with the specific migration limits (SMLs) of lead and cadmium as regulated in the EU’s Ceramic Articles Directive.

Ceramic food contact article category  Lead Cadmium
Category 1: Ceramic articles which cannot be filled and articles which can be filled, the internal depth of which, measured from the lowest point to the horizontal plane passing through the upper rim, does not exceed 25 mm  0.8 mg/dm2  0.07 mg/dm2 
Category 2: All other ceramic articles which can be filled  4 mg/l  0.3 mg/l 
Category 3: Ceramic: cooking ware; packaging and storage vessels having a capacity of more than three liters  1.5 mg/l  0.1 mg/l 
 

The new limits will go into force on January 1, 2026. Anything already on the market by that date can remain unchanged until the end of 2026.  

The European Commission officially recommended Georgia as an EU candidate in November 2023, which was confirmed by the European Council on December 14, 2023. Aligning national policies with those of the EU is part of the EU accession process.  

 

References 

Government of Georgia (November 14, 2023). ?/span>Regarding the approval of the ‘Technical Regulation – on ceramic products intended for contact with food?/span>.?(in Georgian). 

ECHA. ?/span>Ceramic Articles Directive – Lead and Cadmium Migration Limits.”?/span> 

Daniel Bellamy (December 16, 2023). ?/span>Georgia celebrates gaining EU candidate status.?EuroNews 

Read more 

Luke Buxton (December 6, 2023). ?/span>Georgia restricts lead and cadmium in food contact ceramics.?Enhesa 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/agencies-from-us-and-eu-scrutinizing-safety-of-pvc Fri, 12 Jan 2024 07:03:07 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339838 European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) publishes investigation into polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, additives, microparticles; finds risks from PVC resin are “adequately controlled?but suggests action on additives, particles; US Environmental Protection Agency is investigating vinyl chloride for consideration as a High Priority Substance

The post Agencies from US and EU scrutinizing safety of PVC first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
In late 2023, both the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced work establishing possible future regulatory actions concerning substances used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics.  

ECHA 

On November 28, 2023, ECHA published an initial report on potential human health risks from PVC resin, additives, and microparticles.  

For the occupational safety of workers with the resin, ECHA’s investigators found that “operational conditions and risk management measures implemented in the VCM [vinyl chloride monomer] /PVC industry are adequate and effective to control the risk for workers.”?/span> 

However, the agency had concerns about the additives and microparticles. Of the 470 PVC additives ECHA identified, the investigation focused on 63 that function as heat stabilizers, plasticizers, and flame retardants. The investigation identified human health risks from some, and environmental risk from all of the 63 prioritized additives. 

To address the risks from PVC additives and particles, ECHA recommended regulatory action to: 

  • Minimize risks from plasticizers, in particular ortho-phthalates, likely through a REACH restriction 
  • Reduce risks from organotin substances, likely through a REACH restriction. (ECHA notes that organotin substances are used more often in North America than in Europe with exposure facilitated by imports.) 
  • “Follow-up?on ECHA’s proposed EU-wide strategy on flame retardants 
  • Minimize the release of PVC particles (and additives) to the environment. Likely through improved technology at recycling facilities and landfills.  

It is now up to the European Commission to decide whether ECHA should prepare a REACH restriction proposal.  

EPA 

On December 14, 2023, the EPA announced it was beginning the process of evaluating five chemicals for potential designation as High Priority Substances, including the monomer to produce PVC, vinyl chloride (CAS 75-01-4).  

The other four substances under consideration are acetaldehyde (CAS 75-07-0), acrylonitrile (CAS 107-13-1), benzenamine (CAS 62-53-3), and 4,4?methylene bis(2-chloroaniline) (MBOCA, CAS 101-14-4). All have been measured in food contact materials according to the Food Packaging Forum’s database on migrating and extractable food contact chemicals (FCCmigex).  

EPA officially has the next twelve months to decide, but “expects these chemicals to be designated as high-priority for risk evaluation during the prioritization process.?When that happens, the agency will conduct a comprehensive risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act which could lead to management steps including regulating or restricting the manufacture, processing, distribution, use, or disposal of the respective chemical. 

Stakeholders, including the public, can comment on EPA’s prioritization of these five chemicals until March 18, 2024.  

Track this and other public consultation opportunities related to food contact materials and chemicals on FPF’s consultations page.  

 

References 

ECHA (November 28, 2023). ?/span>ECHA identifies risks from PVC additives and microparticle releases.?/span> 

US EPA (December 14, 2023). ?/span>EPA begins process to prioritize five chemicals for risk Evaluation under Toxic Substances Control Act.”?/span> 

ECHA (March 15, 2023). ?/span>ECHA identifies certain brominated flame retardants as candidates for restriction.?/span> 

Read more 

Kelly Franklin (December 10, 2023). ?/span>Vinyl chloride, other plastic building blocks next up for TSCA prioritization.?Enhesa 

Brian Bienkowski (December 15, 2023). ?/span>EPA begins review of PVC ingredient vinyl chloride, which could lead to restrictions or ban.?Environmental Health News 

Alden Wicker (January 2, 2024). ?/span>As the world swims in plastic, some offer an answer: Ban the toxic two.?Mongabay 

The post Agencies from US and EU scrutinizing safety of PVC first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/edcs-in-plastics-cost-the-us-250-billion-in-healthcare Thu, 11 Jan 2024 14:50:40 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339853 EDCs in plastics cost the US $250 billion in healthcare annually first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on January 11, 2023, in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, Leonardo Trasande from NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York City, United States, and co-authors calculated the disease burden and cost of chemicals used in all types of plastic for the year 2018.

Specifically, the authors considered a certain set of plastic chemicals, namely polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), phthalates, bisphenols, and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and researched the fraction of these chemicals used in the production of plastics. In previous studies, the authors estimated the cost of exposure from all uses of these chemicals such as bisphenol A (FPF reported), phthalates (FPF reported), and PFAS (FPF reported). Therefore, they could use a subset of these data to determine the fraction of plastics-related costs. They focused on the disease burden from endocrine-disrupting effects such as premature birth, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

The outcome of the calculation indicates that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) cost the US an estimated $250 billion in increased healthcare costs in 2018. These costs correspond to 1.22% of the Gross Domestic Product. The largest drivers of social costs were PBDEs at $159 billion, followed by phthalates at $66.7 billion and PFAS at $22.4 billion.

A report published by the Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health in 2023 estimated an even higher cost of $920 billion from the US population’s exposure to EDCs and neurotoxic plastic additives in 2015 (FPF reported). Transande and co-authors highlight the discrepancy in both assessments and point to a likely difference in applied methods or estimates used.

The scientists emphasize that policy initiatives address chemicals in plastics, and highlight the global plastics treaty, which is currently being negotiated (FPF reported), as important for supporting such policy initiatives. If the plastic treaty addresses the full plastic life cycle and targets chemicals of concern used in plastics?manufacture, societal benefits “are substantial, as reduced exposures will lead to saving in health-care costs due to lower disease burdens.?/p>

Since March 2022 when UN member states began negotiations on an international plastics treaty to end plastic pollution (FPF reported), several publications have highlighted the diverse effects that the plastics supply chain has on human health and the environment (FPF reported) and have provided recommendations on how to integrate concerns about chemicals contained in plastics within the treaty (FPF reported).

Importantly, and transparently communicated in the article by Trasande et al., the study only considered a small subset (i.e., EDCs) of the over 3,000 chemicals of concern present in plastics (FPF reported). For instance, a high percentage of plastic chemicals are known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction (CMRs), with cancers and related endpoints not accounted for in the present study. Indeed only few diseases associated with EDCs are taken into account, which is why the actual disease burden and health costs associated with plastic chemicals are likely much higher.

Health costs have also been calculated for areas outside the US, such as for female reproductive health in the EU due to EDCs (FPF reported), for European Economic Area member countries due to PFAS exposure (FPF reported), and globally due to exposure to environmental chemicals in general (FPF reported).

 

Reference

Trasande, L. et al. (2023). ?a href="//academic.oup.com/jes/article/8/2/bvad163/7513992" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Chemicals used in plastic materials: An estimate of the attributable disease burden and costs in the United States.?Journal of the Endocrine Society. DOI: 10.1210/jendso/bvad163

Read more

CNN Health (January 11, 2023). ?a href="//edition.cnn.com/2024/01/11/health/health-care-costs-plastic-study-wellness/index.html" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Plastic chemicals linked to $249 billion in US health care costs in just one year, study finds.?Sandee LaMotte

 The post EDCs in plastics cost the US $250 billion in healthcare annually first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/proposals-to-standardize-chemicals-work-data-sharing-across-eu Tue, 09 Jan 2024 12:39:40 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339825 European Commission adopts legislative proposals working toward ‘one substance, one assessment?in the EU; plan to create Europe-wide chemicals data platform; allow agencies to commission chemical testing and monitoring, set up an early warning system for chemical risks, and establish a monitoring framework; two proposals restructure responsibilities among EU agencies

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On December 7, 2023, the European Commission (EC) adopted three legislative proposals in pursuit of ‘one substance, one assessment?in the EU. The largest of the three proposals concerns the creation of a common Europe-wide chemicals data platform to collect, align, and standardize chemicals information gathered by EU agencies and Member States for over 70 regulations (FPF reported). “This includes data on hazards, physico-chemical properties, presence in the environment, emissions, uses, environmental sustainability of chemical substances and on ongoing regulatory processes.?/span> 

In addition to the collection and sharing of chemicals information, the proposal aims to  

  • Enable agencies to commission testing and monitoring of substances; 
  • Keep records of studies commissioned or carried out by businesses in a chemicals regulatory context; 
  • Set up an early warning system for emerging chemical risks; and to 
  • Establish a monitoring and outlook framework for chemicals 

The EC held multiple meetings with stakeholders when developing the proposal (FPF reported). Feedback from the various stakeholder groups was, unsurprisingly, conflicted when it came to data transparency. Currently, different EU regulations have different levels of data transparency or public access. A harmonized system would standardize transparency, but what that would look like was contentious among stakeholders.  

Civil society organizations “suggested limiting confidentiality claims to a minimum and applying fees to prevent default claims.?Meanwhile, industry representatives “…highlighted the danger of disclosing proprietary and confidential business information that could undermine competitiveness and innovation. They suggested limiting transparency to chemicals already on the market and ensuring fair sharing of costs involved in generating test data.”?/span> 

There was relatively common ground concerning industry studies. A civil society organization highlighted that the system “must enable independent scientists to scrutinize industry studies,?and industry representatives “welcomed the dissemination of assessment reports?but with the caveat about confidential information. 

The two other proposals adopted by EC are meant to restructure the European Chemicals Agency’s and other agencies?scientific and technical tasks, as well as improve interagency cooperation.  

After a proposal is adopted by EC, as these were, it is forwarded to the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to begin the legislative negotiation process. When (or if) both the Council and the Parliament agree on the text, it is formally adopted as EU law and Member States are required to implement it as national law. 

 

References 

European Commission (December 7, 2023). ?/span>Commission proposes ‘one substance, one assessment’ chemicals assessment reform for faster, simplified and transparent processes.” ?/span> 

DG Environment (December 7, 2023). ?/span>Proposal for a Regulation establishing a common data platform on chemicals.?European Commission 

Read more 

Luke Buxton (December 12, 2023). ?/span>European Commission proposes common chemicals data platform.?Enhesa 

Luke Buxton (December 20, 2023). ?/span>Common EU chemicals data platform must avoid duplication ?Cefic.?Enhesa 

The post Proposals to standardize chemicals work, data sharing across EU first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/antimony-migration-in-turkish-and-brazilian-pet-bottled-beverages-below-tdi Tue, 09 Jan 2024 05:50:39 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339816 Antimony migration in Turkish and Brazilian PET bottled beverages below TDI first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> Antimony trioxide (CAS 1309-64-4) is a commonly used plastics additive, and in PET manufacturing it is often used as a catalyst. Residuals of antimony (Sb) may still be present in the final product. Sb is of concern because it is probably carcinogenic to humans (WHO IARC Group 2A), and California warns consumers about the presence of this chemical in products sold on its market. 

In an article published on November 24, 2023, in the Journal of Chromatography Open, Paulo Henrique Massaharu Kiyataka from Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and co-authors analyzed 19 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for the presence and migration of antimony. The scientists purchased the water bottles in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and quantified Sb levels in the bottles by heating them to over 300 °C under high pressure. Furthermore, they performed migration experiments at 40 °C for 10 days and 60°C for 10 days, according to Brazil’s food contact regulation (Resolution RDC No. 51/2010) and the European regulation for plastic food contact materials (EC 10/2011), respectively. Sb levels were assessed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). 

The Sb content in the PET bottles was between 173 and 253 mg/kg packaging. This meets “the limit of total Sb in PET of 350 mg/kg established by Germany,?the only country that has established limits for Sb content in PET packaging. Concerning migration, the scientists reported that Sb concentrations were below the limit of detection at 40 °C (0.52 µg/L) but between 1.59 and 4.42 µg/L at 60 °C. This is below the specific migration limits of 40 µg/L and 40 µg/kg established by Brazilian and European legislation, respectively. 

Another article published on December 16, 2023, in the Journal of Chromatography Open, also investigated Sb migration from PET bottles. Gursel Isci and Elif Dagdemir from Agri Ibrahim Cecen University, Agri and Ataturk University, Erzurum, Turkey, respectively, focused on how storage conditions influence Sb migration.  

The scientists acquired 25 PET bottles of different types of beverages from local supermarkets in Turkey and subjected them to storage conditions of 4, 25, and 40°C for 90, 180, and 365 days before Sb analysis by ICP-mass spectrometry. Before storage, all but one sample contained Sb, but over time, the concentrations increased. Sb levels also increased with temperature. Comparing the levels in the different types of beverages, the authors reported that migration was higher in drinks with low pH and high gas pressure, but always stayed below 7.5 ng/mL. This confirms findings of previous scientific studies that have shown that antimony is present in plastics and can migrate into foods (FPF reported), with migration increasing with temperature (FPF reported) and drink acidity (FPF reported). 

Isci and Dagdemir further performed a survey with 580 individuals to assess daily beverage consumption and compare the intake of Sb with the tolerable daily intake (TDI) value of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) drinking water guideline. They reported that estimated daily intakes, no matter the storage time and temperature, were below the WHO’s TDI of 6 µg/kg bw/day. The authors also calculated hazard quotients to be below one, and concluded: “that the studied compounds in PET-bottled beverages were safe,.., suggesting minimal non-carcinogenic health risks.?Besides Sb, the researchers also tested for migration of phthalate esters.  

Opposed to these two recent studies, a report published in 2022 detected antimony in unsafe levels in 40 % of the tested beverages from major brands bottled in PET (FPF reported).  

 

References 

Massaharu Kiyataka, P. H. et al. (2023). ?/span>Migration of antimony from polyethylene terephthalate bottles to mineral water: Comparison between test conditions proposed by Brazil and the European Union.?Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. DOI: 0.1016/j.jfca.2023.105859 

Isci G. and Dagdemir E. (2023). ?/span>Human Health Risk Assessment of Phthalate Esters and Antimony Levels in Beverages Packaged in Polyethylene Terephthalate under Different Storage Conditions.?Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. DOI: 0.1016/j.jfca.2023.105922 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/european-council-adopts-position-on-packaging-and-packaging-waste-regulation Mon, 08 Jan 2024 08:46:21 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339813 Maintains criteria that all packaging must be recyclable; introduces requirement for separate waste collection; tasks Commission with preparing a report on substances of concern and their impact on recycling, reuse, and chemical safety

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On December 18, 2023, the European Council adopted its position and reached a general approach to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). This agreement builds upon a draft proposal originally presented by the European Commission in November 2022 (FPF reported) and subsequently amended by the European Parliament in November 2023 (FPF reported).

The Council has maintained the Commission’s proposal that all packaging placed on the EU market must be recyclable. Additionally, the Council introduced a requirement for packaging to be separately collected, sorted, and recycled at scale to ensure effective recycling capabilities. To enhance the collection and recycling of single-use plastic bottles and metal beverage containers, the Council has mandated member states to establish deposit return systems by 2029.

The agreement also introduces restrictions on specific single-use plastic packaging formats, including those for fruit and vegetables, food and beverages, condiments, and sauces within the hospitality sector. Member states have the flexibility to set exemptions under certain circumstances.

To address the potential impact of substances in packaging on recycling and environmental health, the Council has strengthened the requirements for substances in packaging. The Commission will be tasked with preparing a report on substances of concern and their impact on recycling and chemical safety, assisted by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Furthermore, the Council has extended the date of application of the regulation to 18 months after it entered into force, providing additional time for member states and industry to prepare for the implementation of the new rules.

The Council’s general approach aims to serve as a negotiating mandate for discussions with the European Parliament on the final shape of the regulation. The outcome of these negotiations will determine the specific details and timeline for the implementation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.

 

References

European Council (December 18, 2023). ?a href="//www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2023/12/18/packaging-and-packaging-waste-council-adopts-its-negotiating-position-on-new-rules-for-more-sustainable-packaging-in-the-eu/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Packaging and packaging waste: Council adopts its negotiating position on new rules for more sustainable packaging in the EU.?/p>

Vanessa Zainzinger (December 19, 2023). ?a href="//chemicalwatch.com/928298/council-of-ministers-pushes-eu-commission-for-chemicals-in-packaging-review" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Council of Ministers pushes EU commission for chemicals in packaging review.?Chemical Watch.

Read more

Zero Waste Europe (December 18, 2023). ?a href="//zerowasteeurope.eu/press-release/councils-position-on-packaging-rules-an-improvement-over-parliaments-stance-says-zero-waste-europe/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Council’s position on packaging rules an ‘improvement?over Parliament’s stance, says Zero Waste Europe.?/p>The post European Council adopts position on Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/cyclic-oligomer-migration-is-higher-from-recycled-than-virgin-pet-study-finds Thu, 04 Jan 2024 05:56:00 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339808 Cyclic oligomer migration is higher from recycled than virgin PET, study finds first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on December 21, 2023, in the journal Food Packaging and Shelf Life, Gianluca Colombo and co-authors from Aarhus University, Denmark, compared the migration of cyclic oligomers and NIAS from industrially recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) trays with different ratios of virgin and recycled PET, and produced by two different extrusion processes.

The scientists acquired seven PET trays made of 0, 73, 90, and 100% recycled PET originating from single-screw or twin-screw extruded pellets. They applied the samples to MALDI time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) to analyze molecular weights. In addition, they performed migration testing as recommended by the European plastic food contact material regulation (EC No 10/2011), i.e., at 40 °C for 10 days with food simulant D1 (50% v/v ethanol/water). Subsequently, they subjected the samples to ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS) where they screened for linear and cyclic PET oligomers by targeted and for further (unknown) substances by untargeted analysis.

MALDI-TOF-MS showed a decrease in the molecular weight distribution of polymers in recycled compared to virgin PET trays, which indicates depolymerization due to mechanical recycling, according to the authors. From all seven trays, some of the 12 targeted cyclic PET oligomers were found to migrate into food simulant, but levels varied between the different trays. With increasing content of recycled PET, oligomers migrated in higher levels (especially 2nd and 3rd series dimers) which confirms previous findings (FPF reported). Moreover, “trays obtained with single-screw extrusion showed a significantly higher increase of the PET oligomers concentration.?The authors explained this phenomenon with the shear rate during the extrusion process, creating higher temperatures and friction within the polymer, which could have an impact on material degradation and subsequent oligomer release.

In the untargeted screening, Colombo and co-authors identified a total of 30 compounds, including antioxidants, photoinitiators, phthalates, and different amides. Based on multivariate analysis, they further identified marker compounds to discriminate recycled from virgin PET which were benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), butyl lactate, dodecenamide, 2-methyl-1,3-dioxolane, PET 2nd series cyclic dimer as well as PET 1st series cyclic dimer.

The authors highlighted that “a better understanding of the choice of extruder type (i.e., single or twin screw) may be important to reduce the level of potentially harmful components migrating in the food.?During extrusion, strong forces are applied to the plastic, resulting in high temperatures and high pressure—both impacting material properties and migration.

The health risk of oligomers migrating from PET is essentially unknown. A systematic evidence map published earlier in 2023 summarized the presence of 34 types of oligomers in food contact materials and their migration into food or food simulant, while also looking into their toxicity. The study found 74% of the 34 oligomers migrated, with the majority not yet assessed for their safety (FPF reported). Further, the report found that several basic assumptions made in the risk assessment of PET oligomers are not based on scientific evidence, highlighting the need for more robust risk assessment of PET oligomers.

Oligomers are relevant for all types of plastics. Another review summarized the presence of oligomers in products made of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), and polystyrene (PS) in addition to PET (FPF reported). Large knowledge gaps exist for health risks related to oligomer migration.

 

Reference

Colombo, G. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214289423002041" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Untargeted screening of NIAS and cyclic oligomers migrating from virgin and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) food trays.?Food Packaging and Shelf Life. DOI: 10.1016/j.fpsl.2023.101227

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/pfas-research-snapshot-q4-2023-presence-migration-health-concerns-and-regrettable-substitution Tue, 02 Jan 2024 08:35:15 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339795 PFAS research snapshot Q4 2023: presence, migration, health concerns, and regrettable substitution first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> The widespread, intentional use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food contact materials (FCMs) are known to be a direct exposure route for humans via chemical migration (FPF reported). The intentional use and release of such highly persistent chemicals goes against principles of responsible chemistry and looks to be leading the Earth towards a chemical pollution tipping point beyond current planetary boundaries (FPF reported also here).

Five research, review, and viewpoint articles published between October and December 2023 investigated PFAS presence and migration from FCMs, impacts on the human liver, and a group of PFAS substitutes.

Presence and migration from plastic bags

In an article published on November 22, 2023, in the Journal of Chromatography Open, Kevin M. Stroski from USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Wyndmoor, USA, and Yelena Sapozhnikova from Baylor University, Waco, USA, analyzed 18 plastic food storage bags acquired in Philadelphia, USA for PFAS presence and levels. Upon performing extraction and migration experiments, the scientists did a targeted analysis for 35 PFAS as well as a non-targeted analysis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry.

By targeted analysis, the authors detected PFAS in 57% of the extraction samples in concentrations between 0.5 and 26.6 ng/g packaging. Of the 35 PFAS, they only found two, perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS, CAS 375-73-5) and 6:2 fluorotelomer phosphate diester (6:2 diPAP, CAS 57677-95-9), with the latter being present most frequently. In the non-targeted screening, six additional PFAS candidates were detected but due to the lack of analytical standards, their identity could not be confirmed.

Performing migration experiments on eight bags, only PFBS was present in the samples and levels were between 5.9 and 20 ng/g packaging. The steady-state concentration was already reached after 2 hours of migration, meaning concentrations in the samples stayed the same as the experiment continued indicating “that even brief contact with the tested plastic storage bag can result in rapid migration of PFBS.?Based on the migration data, the scientists further calculated the potential weekly intake of PFBS to be 2.12 ng/kg body weight. Since no regulatory threshold value existed for PFBS, they compared it to the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s) tolerable weekly intake value for the sum of four specific PFAS which is 4.4 ng/kg. The detected PFBS values were well below it.

PFAS in single-use food packaging

On December 13, 2023, IPEN, a non-profit umbrella organization comprising 600 public interest NGOs, published a report on PFAS use and contamination in single-use paper, cardboard, and plant-based food packaging and tableware. Jitka Straková and co-authors assessed samples from 17 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean including fast-food wrappers, takeaway cardboard boxes, coffee cups, microwave popcorn bags, and many more.

Samples were extracted with a mixture of methanol and ethyl acetate, and extractable organic fluorine (EOF) was then analyzed by combustion ion chromatography (CIC) to determine the total PFAS amount. According to the authors, 64 of the 119 samples contained PFAS. Among them was fast-food packaging from major brands. Plant-based molded fiber products, labeled as biodegradable or compostable, contained the highest PFAS concentrations, while microwave popcorn bags contained them most frequently. Comparing PFAS quantities to regulatory limits, the authors found that four “samples contained PFAS above EU limits for PFOA (25 ppb) and/or for long-chain PFCAs (25ppb for the sum of C9-C14 PFCAs).?Another ?3 samples contained Extractable Organic Fluorine or individual PFAS above the proposed limits in the EU REACH universal restriction.?Of the 58 targeted PFAS, 21 were detected in the samples and quantified. Interestingly, 98% of the PFAS content could not be identified, meaning only 2% of the chemical identities could be determined by targeted analysis. The report concluded that “setting legislative thresholds for a few small groups of PFAS is not sufficient to control these harmful substances in food packaging. Only a universal ban, including polymeric PFAS, can stop human exposure and release from food packaging.?It recommends banning PFAS and their substitutes by the Stockholm Convention and governments.

PFAS exposure and liver disease

In an article published on October 21, 2023, in the journal Science of the Total Environment, Jinfeng Zhang and co-authors from Nanchang University, China, reviewed the literature published on Web of Science within the last five years on PFAS exposure and the link to human liver disease.

Considering epidemiological studies, outcomes of in vitro models, and in vivo rodent studies, the authors reported that PFAS have been linked to hepatic cytotoxicity, oxidative stress, glycolipid metabolism disorder, and bile acid metabolism dysregulation. However, epidemiological evidence only exists for a small subset of PFAS, e.g., perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorononan-1-oic acid (PFNA), and perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) which have been positively correlated with liver damage and disease. On the other hand, the health effects of emerging, less well-studied PFAS and PFAS mixtures remain largely unknown. Furthermore, Zhang and co-authors pointed out that the dose administered in in vitro and in vivo studies often exceeds the PFAS levels in the environment. They call for investigations under relevant human exposure levels. In addition to impacts on the human liver, the review summarizes the sources of PFAS, their occurrence in food systems, the characteristics of dietary exposures, and critical knowledge gaps.

Investigating PFAS substitutes

Junjie Ao and co-authors from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China, summarized the occurrence, toxicokinetic, and negative impacts of PFAS substitutes, the so called polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs). Their review article, published on November 17, 2023, in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, raises awareness for the safety issues connected with these PFAS substitutes.

PAPs are a family of phosphoric acid esters consisting of one, two, or three polyfluoroalkyl groups (monoPAPs, diPAPs, and triPAPs, respectively) with applications in FCMs as grease and water repellents. Due to their C-F bond, they have strong stability in the abiotic environment. Ao and co-authors summarized that 6:2 diPAP is the most prevalent PAP in all analyzed matrix samples from food to human blood to wastewaters. Upon entering the human body, biotransformation leads to the generation of multiple perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs), the authors continued. “PFCAs can resist catabolism and phase II conjugation, and are poorly excreted in the body.?Existing epidemiological and toxicological studies indicate that PAPs may cause endocrine disruption (e.g., estrogenic, antiandrogenic effects, and thyroid disruption) as well as reproductive toxicity.

Microplastics and PFAS

In a viewpoint article published on December 8, 2023, in the journal ACS ES&T Water, Sarawut Sangkham from the University of Phayao, Thailand, pointed out that microplastics may influence the effects of PFAS in the environment. Sangkham descibes that plastic litter represents a combined source of microplastics and PFAS (besides many other chemicals) and highlights that the interaction of MPs and PFAS in the environment is poorly understood. Currently available studies would, for instance, indicate that microplastics act as a carrier for PFAS, mediating their accumulation in animals. Furthermore, “biodegradation of microplastics can either enhance or diminish the release of PFAS pollutants into the environment.?He called for more research on the combined effect of microplastics and PFAS since their coexistence in the environment could be “a significant threat to ecosystems.?/p>

Several US state policies address PFAS (FPF reported) and in November 2023, the European Parliament adopted an amended Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), including a ban on PFAS in food packaging (FPF reported).

 

References

Ao, J. et al. (2023). ?a href="//linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0304389423023026" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs) as PFAS substitutes and precursors: An overview.?Journal of Hazardous Materials. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2023.133018

Straková, J., et al. (2023). ?a href="//ipen.org/sites/default/files/documents/ipen-packaging-report-fin2.pdf" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Forever Chemicals in Single-use Food Packaging and Tableware from 17 Countries.?IPEN. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.34952.39687 (pdf)

Stroski, K. M., and Sapozhnikova, Y. (2023). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772391723000300?via%3Dihub" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Analysis of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in plastic food storage bags by different analytical approaches.?Journal of Chromatography Open. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcoa.2023.100106

Sangkham, S. (2023). ?a href="//pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsestwater.3c00607?ref=pdf" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Global Perspective on the Impact of Plastic Waste as a Source of Microplastics and Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Environment.?Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1021/acsestwater.3c00607

Zhang, J. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969723065725?via%3Dihub" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Dietary exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances: Potential health impacts on human liver.?ACS ES&T Water. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.167945

 The post PFAS research snapshot Q4 2023: presence, migration, health concerns, and regrettable substitution first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/united-states-creating-interagency-national-strategy-on-food-loss-and-waste Thu, 07 Dec 2023 07:50:18 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339774 United States creating interagency national strategy on food loss and waste first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On December 2, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a draft national strategy for reducing food loss and waste and recycling organics. The strategy outlines actions that “will help the United States meet its National Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal to halve food loss and waste by 2030 and contribute to achieving the National Recycling Goal to achieve a 50% recycling rate by 2030,?as well as UN Sustainable Development Goals. The four main objectives are to (i) prevent the loss of food where possible, (ii) prevent the waste of food where possible, (iii) increase the recycling rate for all organic produce, and (iv) support policies that incentivize and encourage food loss and waste prevention and organics recycling.

Food “loss?is the term used for edible products leaving the production half of the supply chain ?during farming, processing, or distribution – while “waste?is the term used on the consumer side – in retail, food service, or household. Specific mentions of food packaging within the proposal include:
  • Concerns about packaging contamination in organic waste streams “especially with plastic packaging and persistent chemicals?
  • USDA’s continued investment in “innovative manufacturing technologies?including nanotechnology “to extend shelf life and prevent food loss and waste?
  • USDA “will research food packaging materials from biobased and renewable sourced polymers …[to] protect and enhance food products, eliminate or reduce pathogens, address antimicrobial resistance, extend shelf-life, and reduce food waste and reliance on fossil-fuel-based packaging? and
  • Partnering with the private sector to find upstream solutions. “For example, successful efforts in other countries have included changes in packaging design…?/li>

Concerns about biodegradable plastics and persistent chemicals in organic waste, such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is something that the Food Packaging Forum has mentioned in multiple policy comments in the last year including for the EPA’s draft national strategy to prevent plastic pollution (FPF reported) and the EU’s PFAS restriction proposal (FPF reported).

The US draft food loss and waste strategy is open for public comment through January 4, 2024. The agencies expect to begin implementation in 2024.

 

References

EPA, USDA, and FDA (December 2, 2023). ?a href="//www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-12/draft_national_strategy_for_reducing_food_loss_and_waste_and_recycling-organics.pdf" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Draft national strategy for reducing food loss and waste and recycling organics.?US EPA (pdf).

EPA (December 2, 2023). ?a href="//www.epa.gov/circulareconomy/draft-national-strategy-reducing-food-loss-and-waste-and-recycling-organics" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Summary of the draft strategy.?/p>

EPA (December 2, 2023). ?a href="//www.epa.gov/newsreleases/biden-harris-administration-releases-draft-national-strategy-reduce-food-loss-and" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Biden-Harris Administration releases Draft National Strategy to Reduce Food Loss and Waste.?/p>

USDA (December 2, 2023). ?a href="//www.usda.gov/foodlossandwaste/national-strategy" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Summary of the draft strategy.?/p>

Read more

EPA, USDA, and FDA (December 5, 2023). ?a href="//www.regulations.gov/commenton/EPA-HQ-OLEM-2022-0415-0001" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Draft national strategy for reducing food loss and waste and recycling organics ?comment page.?Regulations.gov

The post United States creating interagency national strategy on food loss and waste first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/scientists-worried-about-chemical-harms-address-german-ministers Wed, 06 Dec 2023 06:38:12 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339763 Scientists worried about chemical harms address German ministers first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On November 27, 2023, Professor Dr. Andreas Kortenkamp of Brunel University London, on behalf of more than 50 scientists, published an open letter to German ministers Steffi Lemke and Cem Őzdemir regarding recent bisphenol policy decisions. In August 2023 German authorities withdrew a restriction proposal for bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) and other related bisphenols that was originally submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in October 2022 (FPF reported). Kortenkamp and other signatories state that “all the evidence required to restrict the use of these chemicals [bisphenols] according to the European chemical regulation REACH is available, yet the German authorities have recently withdrawn their REACH restriction proposal.?/span> 

The original restriction proposal included five bisphenols and their derivatives coming to a total of more than 30 bisphenol-based substances with concerns of environmental health effects. Germany removed the proposal in order to consider information gained through stakeholder submissions and plans to resubmit a new proposal at some point in the future.  However, there are no details about what the new restriction proposal will cover or when it will come.  

Kortenkamp et al. were additionally concerned with the German response to updated exposure limits for BPA. When the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) lowered the tolerable daily intake of BPA in April 2023 (FPF reported), the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment disagreed and established a “safe?value 1000 times higher. According to the signatories, “the scientific weight of evidence strongly supports EFSA’s value.?/span> 

The letter cites several recent studies by Kortenkamp and others demonstrating that the evidence of BPA reducing semen quality is “robust?and that limiting bisphenols would be positive for both human health (FPF reported, also here) as well as environmental health in Europe.  

Food Packaging Forum director Dr. Jane Muncke as well as several members of FPF’s Scientific Advisory Board were signatories to the letter.  

 

Reference 

Andreas Kortenkamp, et al. (November 27, 2023). ?/span>Open letter regarding the recent handling of bisphenols by German regulatory agencies.?/span> 

Read more 

Emma Davies (November 30, 2023). ?/span>Scientists call on Germany to strengthen, resubmit bisphenols restriction proposal.?Chemical Watch 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/drinks-industry-under-pressure-to-implement-reuse-models Tue, 05 Dec 2023 13:38:44 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339760 Daily Mail reports on environmental campaigners call to action for more sustainable beverage packaging; based on Zero Waste Europe report; says beverage packaging sector will not reach climate targets without deposit return schemes

The post Drinks industry under pressure to implement reuse models first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
According to reporting by the Daily Mail on November 20, 2023, environmental campaigners are urgently calling for policymakers to enact radical changes within the drinks industry to align with the ambitious 2050 net-zero targets. Their plea underscores the necessity of enhancing recycling practices for various containers, including cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles, coupled with a fundamental shift towards large-scale refillable options. Campaigners stress the need for a circular economy, combining better recycling with large-scale refillable options, to achieve sustainability in the drinks industry and meet climate targets.

This call-to-action stems from a Zero Waste Europe report, published in June 2023, which examines the environmental impact of glass, PET plastic, and aluminum drinks containers (FPF reported). The report issued a stark warning, projecting that all three materials are poised to surpass their allocated carbon budgets, with glass demonstrating the highest proportional exceedance. Without intervention, the beverage packaging sector in the EU may exceed its total carbon budget by up to 150%. The report emphasized the importance of a deposit return schemes (DRS) and criticized decisions that have delayed DRS implementation, particularly regarding glass.  

A deposit return scheme is a step in the right direction, but campaigners assert that it alone is insufficient. They emphasize the imperative for radical policy changes to ensure the drinks industry can significantly reduce emissions by 2050. The sentiment is echoed by other civil society organizations, including Action to Protect Rural Scotland (APRS), Surfers Against Sewage, Marine Conservation Society, and Keep Wales Tidy.

Deliberations in the European Parliament on November 22, 2023, have seen the adoption of Parliament’s position on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) that falls short of the transformative measures urgently needed for the drinks industry, according to many stakeholders (FPF reported). 

 

Reference 

Daily Mail (November 20, 2023) ?/span>Drinks industry needs radical change to meet emissions targets, campaigners warn.?/span> 

Read more 

Zero Waste Europe (June 22, 2023) ?/span>Decarbonisation of single-use beverage packaging.?/span> 

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/third-round-of-un-plastics-treaty-negotiations-conclude Wed, 29 Nov 2023 15:00:53 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339750 Meeting in Nairobi ends with no consensus on intersessional work needed before next meeting; Scientists?Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty represented by 37 scientists, including team members from the Food Packaging Forum; expanded and revised version of Zero Draft based on member state inputs to be published by December 31, 2023; next round of negotiations to take place in Ottawa, Canada on April 21 ?30, 2024

The post Third round of UN plastics treaty negotiations conclude first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
On November 19, 2023, the third round of negotiations by the United Nations Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC) concluded. Diplomats from countries across the globe convened to negotiate alongside observers including scientists, industry representatives, activists, youth organizations, and others in Nairobi, Kenya. On the ground throughout the entire week were 37 members of the Scientist’s Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty, a diverse group of leading experts on plastic pollution research including two team members from the Food Packaging Forum.   

As an outcome of the meeting, the INC secretariat has been tasked with revising the Zero Draft by the end of the year based on the input received by Committee members during the meeting. The document outlines all of the options proposed for addressing plastic pollution across the entire life span of plastics. The negotiations will reconvene at the Committee’s fourth meeting on April 21 ?30, 2024, in Ottawa, Canada. Despite a clear interest by many members in establishing intersessional work to prepare key documents, there was no consensus on a mandate for such work before the next round of negotiations in April. This lack of progress raised concerns from many about the Committee’s ability to realistically achieve an effective global plastics treaty by the planned end of the process next year. 

During the INC-3 meeting, three contact groups focused on discussing different aspects of the Zero Draft, with final updates from Group 1 and Group 2 indicating disagreement and a wide range of proposed approaches to address the complexity involved. Group 3 was unable to finish its discussions and provide an updated version of the draft text. Contact Group 1 focused on the technical and regulatory elements within the Zero Draft, Group 2 on financial, implementation, and compliance aspects, and Group 3 on institutional arrangements and general and final provisions not covered during the INC-2 meeting. There is an updated version of the Zero Draft already available that contains the revisions from Groups 1 and 2, and the final revised Zero Draft that contains input from Group 3 is expected to be over 100 pages long once published at the end of this year. This is a significant increase in the length of the draft (compared to the start of the INC-3 meeting), and it will serve as the basis for the continued negotiations in Ottawa next April. 

The absence of consensus on intersessional work at the end of the week led to dissatisfaction by many, with the United States proposing to reopen discussions at the last minute to try and find a way forward. However, this was opposed by Russia and Saudi Arabia, and the meeting was then called to an end. Civil society observer organizations expressed disappointment and emphasized the need for high-ambition countries to prevent such obstacles, and they criticized Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia for negotiating in bad faith. 

Members of the Scientists?Coalition were very busy throughout the week, answering delegates?scientific questions, participating in various meetings and side events, and giving insightful talks and presentations to explain the latest relevant independent science to help inform the discussions. Each morning, the group’s scientists set up an informal ‘Ask a Scientist?pop-up, giving Committee members the chance to easily engage with scientific experts.  

Coalition member Jane Muncke from the Food Packaging Forum spoke during an official side event panel focused on plastic pollution, toxicity, chemicals, and potential risks to human health. The panel was moderated by the World Health Organization and the Government of Uruguay. 

In the last plenary session of the meeting, delegates elected Ecuador’s Ambassador Luis Vayas Valdivieso as INC chair for the remainder of the process. Looking ahead, concerns about still unresolved procedural issues related to consensus and decision-making potentially threaten to obstruct future negotiations. There is also a call to ensure that independent scientific knowledge is implemented in the treaty, emphasizing the use of a precautionary approach and transparent implementation with mandatory global reduction targets. The establishment of a clear platform for independent science to inform the treaty is still missing, and the new INC chair has been urged by scientists at INC-3 to clearly address this as the negotiations move forward. 

 

References 

UNEP (November 19, 2023) ?/span>Third session of negotiations on an international plastics treaty advance in Nairobi.?/span> 

Earth Negotiations Bulletin (November 23, 2023) ?/span>Summary of the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiations Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution: 11-19 November 2023.?/span> 

Read More 

Tosca Ballerini (November 22, 2023). ?/span>Global plastics treaty, third round of negotiations closes without agreement.?Renewable Matter 

Nicola Jones (November 20, 2023). ?/span>Progress on plastic pollution treaty too slow, scientists say.?Nature 

Scientists?Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty (November 13 to November 19, 2023) ?/span>INC-3 Daily Updates on LinkedIn.?/span> 

The post Third round of UN plastics treaty negotiations conclude first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/up-scorecard-new-and-improved-version-released Wed, 29 Nov 2023 10:44:58 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339753 New version of Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard published; allows users to create a private account, make and save product portfolios, compare entire business units, and features a more robust scoring system for chemicals of concern that considers the food or beverage being served

The post UP Scorecard: New and improved version released first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
On November 28, 2023, the Single-Use Materials Decelerator (SUM’D) released a new and expanded version of the Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard. The update builds on improvements made in the third version launched in October 2022 (FPF reported) and further enhances the user experience: Users can open accounts to manage tool preferences, save an infinite number of customized products and portfolios for continued work at a later stage, and share their projects with others. With the creation of user accounts, users now have the ability to create portfolios comprised of multiple products to represent entire business units, such as restaurants or cafeterias, which are then scored as a whole. Furthermore, the tool now utilizes a benchmarking system that allows comparison between portfolios. 

The UP Scorecard’s change log provides the full details on the changes made and the updated version of the methodology document explains in detail all of the data sources and calculations used to provide each score. The UP Scorecard is still in its beta stage. Any feedback on the tool is welcome and can be provided using this online form

The UP Scorecard is a free, web-based tool to assess human and environmental health impacts of foodware and food packaging products. It assesses and compares the products across six metrics: plastic pollution, chemicals of concern, climate, water use, sustainable sourcing, and recoverability. Originally launched in July 2021 (FPF reported), the tool offers companies a first-ever, free, and comprehensive resource for making more sustainable purchasing decisions.   

The UP Scorecard is being developed by SUM’D, a non-profit coalition made up of leading food service companies, non-profit and civil society organizations, and technical experts. Coalition members bring together their respective strengths to work towards reducing the environmental and human health burden of foodware and food packaging used in restaurants and cafeterias. The Food Packaging Forum is a member of SUM’D and also serves as the host organization for the UP Scorecard. 

 

Read more 

Single-Use Material Decelerator (November 28, 2023) ?/span>UP Scorecard version 0.4 released.?UP Scorecard 

Single-Use Material Decelerator (November 28, 2023) ?/span>Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard Methodology. Version 0.4.?UP Scorecard 

The post UP Scorecard: New and improved version released first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/canadian-federal-court-overrules-governments-plastics-toxicity-label Tue, 28 Nov 2023 20:08:03 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339745 Canadian Federal Court overrules government’s plastics toxicity label first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On November 16, 2023, a justice of the Canadian Federal Court overturned the federal government’s 2021 declaration labeling all plastic items as toxic (FPF reported), citing overreach under the Environmental Protection Act. The justice stated that the evidence “has not shown that there is a reasonable apprehension of harm for every plastic manufactured item.?/span> 

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault announced a few days later that the government is appealing the decision, underscoring the ongoing debate over plastic regulation in Canada. The ruling does not affect Canada’s single-use plastics ban, SB-5 (FPF reported).  

In August 2023, the Canadian government published a pollution prevention planning notice for plastic food packaging as part of ongoing efforts to address plastic waste and pollution (FPF reported). 

 

References 

Canadian Federal Court (November 16, 2023). ?/span>Responsible plastic use coalition v. Canada (Environment and Climate Change).”?/span> 

Steven Guilbeault (November 20, 2023). ?/span>Announcement.?X 

Read more 

Vjosa Isai (November 18, 2023). ?/span>Single use plastics ban overturned by Canadian court.?New York Times 

Sean Fine (November 16, 2023). ?/span>Federal Court judge rules that Ottawa’s labelling of all plastics as toxic is unconstitutional.?The Globe and Mail 

The post Canadian Federal Court overrules governments plastics toxicity label first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/european-parliament-adopts-amended-packaging-and-packaging-waste-regulation Tue, 28 Nov 2023 12:14:18 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339724 European Parliament adopts amended Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On November 22, 2023, the European Parliament adopted its position on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) with 426 votes in favor, 125 against, and 74 abstentions. The original draft regulation proposed in November 2022 went through public consultation and various amendments until it was finalized on October 24, 2023, by the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee (FPF reported and here). 

The proposed regulations encompass various measures aimed at reducing packaging, limiting specific types, and banning the use of harmful chemicals per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging. In addition to general packaging reduction targets of 5% by 2030, 10% by 2035, and 15% by 2040, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are advocating for specific targets to reduce plastic packaging: 10% by 2030, 15% by 2035, and 20% by 2040 (FPF reported). However, many of the ‘unnecessary packaging items? listed in Annex V of the original proposal had been revised in the final version. Food contact articles such as single-use cups and plates in the dine-in sector were removed from the scope of the new regulation, as well as single-use packaging for fruits and vegetables and single-use sauce and sugar tubs and sachets. 

In a bid to encourage reuse and refill options for consumers, MEPs are seeking clarity on requirements for packaging to be reused or refilled. They propose that distributors of beverages and take-away food in the food service sector provide consumers with the option to bring their own containers (FPF reported). The current version of the regulation also requires that all packaging should be recyclable, meeting stringent criteria to be defined through secondary legislation. Temporary exemptions are outlined for certain materials like wood and wax food packaging. If member states can report recycling rates over 85% for a specific packaging type, this type is excluded from reuse targets.  

Furthermore, MEPs are urging EU countries to ensure that 90% of materials contained in packaging (plastic, wood, ferrous metals, aluminum, glass, paper, and cardboard) are collected separately by 2029. 

Following this adoption, the Parliament is initiating talks with national governments to finalize the legislation once the European Council has adopted its position. 

This revised form of the regulation comes after months of discussion and reportedly record-breaking amounts of lobbying by packaging manufacturers and the food service sector against many of the regulation’s proposed requirements. Many individual MEPs as well as civil society organizations are highly critical and see the regulation as a missed opportunity

 

Reference 

European Parliament (November 22, 2023) ?/span>Parliament adopts revamped rules to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging.?/span> 

Read more 

Eleonora Vasques (November 17, 2023) ?/span>MEPs denounce packaging waste regulation lobbying as violating ‘Qatargate?rules.?Euractiv 

Plastics Europe (November 22, 2023) ?/span>Reaction to European Parliament Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation vote.?/span> 

Zero Waste Europe (November 22, 2023) ?/span>A position for the wrong century: European Parliament’s vote on the PPWR.?/span> 

Permanent Materials Alliance (November 22, 2023) ?/span>Permanent Material Alliance welcomes the European Parliament’s ambition on recyclability.?(pdf

Europen (November 22, 2023) ?/span>EUROPEN recognises Parliament’s efforts towards a more science-driven outcome but warns of serious Single Market disruption.?/span> 

Nathan Canas (November 23, 2023) ?/span>The draft regulation on packaging waste stokes fears about impact on forests.?Euractiv 

Kira Taylor (November 23, 2023) ?/span>Parliament votes to water down EU’s packaging waste law.?Euractiv 

Circular (November 23, 2023) ?/span>EU packaging vote labelled “missed opportunity.?/span> 

The post European Parliament adopts amended Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/study-detects-dna-reactive-mutagenic-substances-in-recycled-pe-pp-and-ps Thu, 23 Nov 2023 05:57:27 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339714 Study detects DNA-reactive, mutagenic substances in recycled PE, PP, and PS first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on November 4, 2023, in the journal Recycling, Elisa Mayrhofer from the Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (OFI), Vienna, and co-authors assessed if DNA-reactive, mutagenic substances are present in recycled polyolefins compared to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS), using the cell-based Ames in vitro assay.

Currently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assumes that all unidentified contaminants in recycled plastics are DNA-reactive and mutagenic, and prescribes an exposure limit of 0.0025 µg/kg body weight per day for each of them. Therefore, the authors aimed to assess if that assumption is justified and if the combination of the Ames test with chromatographic analysis allows the detection of these unknown substances.

While EFSA has almost exclusively assessed the safety of PET recycling processes for food contact uses, the European regulation on recycled plastics in food contact, (EU) 2022/1616, now allows novel non-authorized technologies on the market while necessary data for their safety are being collected, prior to safety assessments being carried out (FPF reported and here). Therefore, a toxicological and chemical characterization of polymers other than PET is key.

For their analysis, Mayrhofer and colleagues acquired a total of 119 recycled plastic samples from their industry partners, focusing on polyolefins, specifically low-density polyethylene (LDPE, 14 samples), high-density polyethylene (HDPE, 40), and polypropylene (PP, 37) but also including 10 PS and 12 PET samples for comparison. The samples can be further differentiated into washed flakes from post-consumer waste (input) and recycled granules or finished products made from these (output). Samples were extracted with 95% ethanol at 60°C for one to ten days and pre-concentrated extracts were applied to a miniaturized Ames test to detect DNA-reactive, mutagenic substances.

The researchers detected DNA-reactive, mutagenic substances in 51 of the 119 recycled samples. However, since the sensitivity of the miniaturized Ames test does not allow the detection of substances at the levels of EFSA’s safety threshold (0.0025 µg/kg body weight per day), “additional DNA-reactive, mutagenic effects [of investigated samples] cannot be ruled out.?/p>

The positive samples included all plastic types except for recycled PET which is already widely applied for food contact in Europe. According to the authors, the different polymer structure of polyolefins, where compounds are more easily transferred into the solvent, is one reason for the higher chemical migration compared to PET. Further, six out of the ten PS samples showed reactivity. Previous studies on post-consumer and recycled plastic polymers came to the same conclusion that PET is currently the only polymer that complies with EFSA’s requirements for plastics in a circular economy (FPF reported). However, technical and physical constraints in mechanical recycling also prevent infinite recycling of PET, as revealed by a report published in November 2023 (FPF reported), and recycled food contact PET has been found to contain hazardous chemicals, like bisphenol A (FPF reported).

The comparison of input and output samples showed that DNA-reactive, mutagenic substances were more prevalent in output materials (42 positive samples out of 92) than in input materials (7 positive samples out of 27). Therefore, the authors hypothesized that harmful chemicals are not introduced by consumers but during the recycling processes and called for further characterization of these compounds and their sources. When comparing the bioassay with the analytical screening results, chemicals explaining the observed toxicity could not be identified.

Mayerhofer and co-authors consider their findings concerning and hindering “the progress in plastic recycling especially in sensitive applications such as food contact materials.?/p>

Another article published on October 30, 2023, in the journal Data in Brief supports this conclusion considering the complex (and harmful) chemical mixtures in plastics. Eric Carmona from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and co-authors purchased 28 HDPE plastic pellets from recycling facilities in South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, extracted them with three types of organic solvents using ultrasound, and applied them to gas and liquid chromatography-high resolution-mass spectrometry (GC and LC-HRMS) for targeted and non-targeted chemical screening. Thereby, targeted screenings are used to quantify levels of known (hazardous) chemicals, while non-targeted screenings serve to identify previously unknown chemicals.

The researchers detected and quantified a total of 491 chemicals by targeted analysis. Another 170 compounds were tentatively identified in the non-targeted screening. Classification of these chemicals showed that most were pesticides and biocides (162 compounds), pharmaceuticals (89), industrial chemicals (65), and plastic additives (45). The plasticizer n-ethyl-o-toluenesulfonamide (CAS 1077-56-1) was present in all samples and was the chemical with the highest concentration (up to 24020 μg/L of extract) followed by the rubber additive n,n-dimethyl-p-phenylenediamine (CAS 99-98-9; up to 77463 ng/L of the extract). The whole dataset can be found in a Zenodo repository. The authors write that the “dataset [is] advancing knowledge of the complex chemical composition associated with recycled plastics.?/p>

Not only does the presence of toxic and complex chemical mixtures impede the progress of recycling, but also food and drink companies are not progressing toward its set goals. For instance, DW’s and European Data Journalism Network’s investigations on recycling rates of plastic recycling in Europe published in 2022 revealed that two-thirds of plastic-packaging pledges in Europe failed (FPF reported).

 

 

References

Carmona, E. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352340923008090" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">A dataset of organic pollutants identified and quantified in recycled polyethylene pellets.?Data in Brief. DOI: 10.1016/j.dib.2023.109740

Mayrhofer, E. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.mdpi.com/2313-4321/8/6/87" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Safety Assessment of Recycled Plastics from Post-Consumer Waste with a Combination of a Miniaturized Ames Test and Chromatographic Analysis.?Recycling. DOI: 10.3390/recycling8060087

       The post Study detects DNA-reactive, mutagenic substances in recycled PE, PP, and PS first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/report-assesses-benefits-of-increasing-reusable-beverage-packaging Wed, 22 Nov 2023 09:23:21 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339708 Report assesses benefits of increasing reusable beverage packaging first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On November 14, 2023, the civil society organization Oceana published a report analyzing the benefits of switching from single-use to reusable beverage packaging.

According to the report, an increase of ten percent in reusable packaging by 2030 could eliminate over 1 trillion single-use plastic bottles and cups (FPF reported and here). Consumers purchased over 755 billion liters of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages in 2022, according to the GlobalData dataset used for the analysis. Oceana calculated that 6.3% of this volume was sold in reusable packaging. In comparison to that, 75% were sold in single-use plastics. Single-use metal, single-use glass, and other single-use materials made up 9.6%, 2.2%, and 7.2% respectively. The civil society organization further approximated that the global total NARTD beverage sales in 2022 amount to an equivalent of 1.1 trillion 500 ml single-use plastic bottles. It was anticipated that 133 billion of these containers would end up in aquatic systems.

The leading soft drink companies Coca-Cola and PepsiCo already have reuse systems in place and have both pledged to increase the volume of beverages sold in reusable packaging by ten percent by 2030. The authors of the Oceana report highlighted the importance of those companies to comply with their commitments, as they “[…] have a history of not meeting commitments.?In addition, they urge other companies to step up as well.

The report includes a summary of research showing the extent of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and the negative effects single-use plastics have on marine life. In a paper published in 2018 in Science, it was estimated that 11.1 billion plastic items are polluting the coral reefs of the Asia-Pacific region alone.

Furthermore, the authors of the report argued that shifting toward reusable packaging is more beneficial to the environment than increasing recycling efforts. “[R]ecycling is a false solution,?they stated. Accordingly, adding more recycled content to single-use plastic bottles would not prevent them from being thrown away and ending up in waterways. Besides, only 9% of all plastic waste up to date has been recycled. Moreover, scientific evidence suggests that plastic recycling facilities release microplastics into the environment, further adding to plastic pollution (FPF reported and here).

“We’ve estimated that a stack of the single-use plastic packaging used by the beverage sector in 2022 alone could reach all the way to the sun and back. Adding recycled content to bottles and cups won’t topple this single-use plastic tower. The way to really make a difference is to replace single-use plastic with reusable packaging? says Matt Littlejohn, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Oceana, in the press release.

In conclusion, Oceana requests beverage companies to adopt reuse systems, reduce production of single-use plastics, and set targets to increase reusable packaging by at least ten percent.

From November 13 ?19, 2023, various nations and stakeholders met in Nairobi, Kenya, to continue negotiations to develop a global plastics treaty (FPF reported). The discussions also touched upon the implementation and expansion of reuse systems for beverage packaging (FPF reported).

For more information on reusable food packaging, the Food Packaging Forum has published a fact sheet outlining critical factors to consider when switching to reuse.

 

References

Oceana (November 14, 2023) ?a href="//oceana.org/press-releases/report-switching-to-reusable-packaging-could-eliminate-1-trillion-single-use-plastic-bottles-and-cups/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Report: Switching to Reusable Packaging Could Eliminate 1 Trillion Single-Use Plastic Bottles and Cups.?/p>

Oceana (November 14, 2023) ?a href="//oceana.org/reports/refill-again/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Refill again.?/p>

Lamb, J.B. et al. (2018) ?a href="//www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aar3320" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Plastic waste associated with disease on coral reefs.?Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3320

The post Report assesses benefits of increasing reusable beverage packaging first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/earth-action-report-assesses-leakage-of-plastic-additives-into-the-environment Fri, 17 Nov 2023 08:00:10 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339704 Earth Action (EA) publishes report quantifying plastic additives leaking into the environment; estimates more than 6,000,000 tons of additives leak into the environment annually by applying a mathematical modeling approach; briefing paper assesses environmental and human health impacts of plastic additives and discusses ways forward

The post Earth Action report assesses leakage of plastic additives into the environment first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
On November 8, 2023, Earth Action (EA) released a report assessing the leakage of plastic additives into the environment. The study introduces a mathematical approach to modeling and quantifying the total volume of plastic additives that leak into both oceans and terrestrial ecosystems as a result of mismanaged plastic waste. In addition, the authors investigated the health and environmental consequences of these plastic additives in the environment (FPF reported).

The lack of comprehensive studies on the scale of plastic additive leakage hinders the development of effective risk assessment procedures, regulatory mechanisms, and recycling processes, the authors emphasized. By estimating the total annual leakage of additives from plastic products into the ocean and terrestrial environments, the study aims to contribute to an effective risk assessment and the development of strategies to mitigate further pollution from plastic additives. The authors primarily quantify the release of plastic additives into the environment during the end-of-life phase and, in the case of textiles and tires, during use in the form of microplastics. The research methodology involves mathematical modeling, calculating plastic waste generation, estimating leakage, and assessing the corresponding volume of leaked additives. Data from scientific literature, technical reports, and databases were used to study the quantity, types, and utilization of additives, as well as plastic waste production and management.

According to the study, the majority of additives, over 98%, are found in the four commonly used polymers polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS). Approximately 971,000 tons of additives were found to enter marine ecosystems annually, with an additional 5,650,000 tons ending up in terrestrial areas, based on the total amount of plastic production for the year 2021. 1,238,000 tons (18.7%) of the total leakage was attributed to plastic packaging. 208,000 tons (16.8%) of which comes from mismanaged PET bottles. The authors indicated that inadequate waste collection systems, littering, and improper disposal of plastic products are responsible for that leakage (FPF reported).

The consequences of plastic additives in marine environments named in the report include negative impacts on aquatic life, ecosystem health, and human well-being through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. The report projects a potential 50% increase in annual leakage of plastic additives into oceans and waterways by 2040 unless there are significant changes in plastic production rates, chemical composition, or improvements in waste management practices. In their conclusion, the authors present eight principles for a way forward, including:
  • Selecting polymers that are easily reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable;
  • Reducing or substituting problematic chemical compounds;
  • Distinguishing between essential and non-essential plastic products;
  • And expanding transparency for the chemical composition of plastic items.

EA emphasized that “[…] a multifaceted approach is necessary to confront the complexities associated with plastic additives. This includes ongoing research and scientific investigation, regulatory interventions, and fundamental shifts in the use and management of certain additives.?/p>

In a report published on November 2, 2023, Arturo Castillo Castillo and co-authors from the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, also focused on plastic additives reviewing the current knowledge base and proposing ways forward towards non-toxic materials.

Framing the problem, the authors pointed out that known toxic additives are used in plastics of which the consumer is unaware making informed decisions impossible. Furthermore, they highlighted that data is missing on the toxicity of single additives but still, they are used until proven harmful, and if replaced they are often substituted by equally toxic alternatives (i.e., regrettable substitutions). As a further knowledge gap, they described the lack of data on the interaction of additives, as occurring in the real world. Castillo Castillo and co-authors divided “what we are currently doing wrong?into wrong definitions and reactive approaches, wrong testing, and regrettable substitutions.

Subsequently, the topic briefing provides recommendations on how to make additives safer and how policymakers and other stakeholders can contribute to it. Here, the authors discussed that low-dose effects need to be considered in toxicity testing (FPF reported) as well as mixture effects. For the latter, they propose to include biomonitoring data to account for the complexity occurring in real-world exposures. To avoid regrettable substitutions and speed up regulatory action, the scientists confirm the opinion of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and others to regulate chemicals as a group (FPF reported). Interestingly, instead of proposing regulatory obligations, the authors ask consumers, governments, and producers “to demand the use of non-toxic chemicals?in plastics as well as “full supply chain transparency.?Coming from a molecular science and engineering background, Castillo Castillo et al. further emphasized actions for their discipline including the development of new non-toxic alternatives to existing additives, methods to better monitor additives?presence, models to assess real-world chemical interactions, and new processes to reduce additive leakage into the environment.

A measure to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals not addressed by the authors is chemical simplification, i.e., the reduction of chemicals used in plastic production (FPF reported and here).

For the launch of their briefing paper, the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering organized an in-person and online event where the paper was presented and questions addressed in a panel discussion.

Various stakeholders will have the opportunity to discuss a way forward with plastic additives at the UN Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) convening for the third time on November 13 ?19 in Nairobi. The intent is to draft a global plastics treaty by the end of 2024. The Zero Draft text published by the INC’s Secretariat in September is designed to guide the discussions ahead (FPF reported).

 

References

Earth Action (November 8, 2023) ?a href="//www.e-a.earth/adding-it-up/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Adding it up: A global assessment of plastic additives leakage.?/p>

Castillo Castillo, A. (November 2, 2023) ?a href="//spiral.imperial.ac.uk/handle/10044/1/105699" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Addressing plastic additives.?DOI: 10.25561/105699

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/effective-plastics-treaty-needs-to-include-investments-in-reduce-reuse-and-redesign-scientists-highlight Thu, 16 Nov 2023 08:11:30 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339699 Effective plastics treaty needs to include investments in reduce, reuse, and redesign, scientists highlight first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In a Science Letters article published on November 2, 2023, Mengjiao Wang from the University of Exeter, UK, and co-authors emphasized the need for the global plastics treaty to financially incentivize reduction, reuse, and redesign.

In March 2022, 175 nations agreed to develop a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution by the end of 2024 (FPF reported). To develop the treaty, diplomats, scientists, industry representatives, activists, and other various participants and observers from across the world convene from November 13 to 19, 2023 for the third intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) in Nairobi, Kenya. For an overview of discussions at the second meeting see here. To guide INC-3, the United Nations published the Zero Draft of the Plastics treaty ahead of the meeting (FPF reported).

Wang and co-authors believe that this draft puts a focus on waste management and its financing (downstream solutions) while reduce, reuse, and redesign opportunities miss out (upstream and midstream). Although only around 10% of plastic is recycled, 88% of the investment capital for circularity goes into recycling and recovery, while only 4% goes into reuse solutions, the authors outline. “This imbalance threatens to escalate the problem of growing volume of plastic waste.?/p>

Therefore, the scientists call for higher financial investment and incentives for upstream and midstream solutions such as sustainable product design, management, and reuse, which is in line with the zero waste strategy. As specific measures, they emphasize the treaty to include strong criteria for extended producer responsibility schemes (FPF reported) making plastic producers pay and including clear requirements for the whole life cycle of plastic products. Furthermore, “governments should then transparently implement the obligations, which would incentivize private entities to invest?in these solutions.

In the same Science Letters edition, scientists called for chemical simplification and increased transparency as an essential step towards safer recycling (FPF reported).

 

Reference

Wang, M. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adl4491" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Finance plastics reuse, redesign, and reduction.?Nature Letters. DOI: 10.1126/science.adl4491

The post Effective plastics treaty needs to include investments in reduce, reuse, and redesign, scientists highlight first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/global-plastics-treaty-should-include-chemical-simplification-scientists-demand Mon, 13 Nov 2023 07:55:06 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339692 Global plastics treaty should include chemical simplification, scientists demand first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In a Science Letters article published on November 3, 2023, Bethanie Carney Almroth from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and co-authors call for chemical simplification ?the reduction of chemicals used in plastic production ?and increased transparency as an essential step towards safer recycling.

Almroth and co-authors explain that the presence of hazardous chemicals in plastics complicates reuse and disposal and impedes plastic recycling. Recyclers cannot remove these chemicals from the plastics since they miss the tools and information on the substances included in the products. Consequently, recycling workers, consumers, and the environment alike are at risk due to exposure to these hazardous chemicals (see also the Food Packaging Forum’s factsheet on plastic recycling).

To approach this issue, the authors call for stricter regulation requiring plastic producers to transparently share the identity and levels of the (hazardous) chemicals they produce and use to enable monitoring. As further measures to limit hazardous chemicals, they propose chemical simplification, the phase-out of additives known to be harmful (FPF reported), and the identification, and limitation of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS). Only then could recycling “contribute to tackling the plastics pollution crisis.?Already in 2021, scientists proposed chemical simplification as a means to systematically tackle pollution by synthetic chemicals (FPF reported).

The scientists call for the United Nations (UN) global treaty to end plastic pollution (FPF reported) to include these “obligations to increase the safety, transparency, and traceability of the components?as being “one of many necessary steps toward safer recycling.?/p>

In another commentary, the Minderoo Foundation shared their view on what the plastics treaty needs to include to be successful including a global plastic production cap, limits on single-use plastic production, an extended producer responsibility scheme, a ban on plastic combustion, and the disclosure of all plastic chemicals (FPF reported).

From the 13th to the 19th of November, 2023, the UN Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) is convening for the third time with the intent to draft a global plastics treaty by the end of 2024. The Zero Draft text published by the INC’s Secretariat in September is designed to guide the discussions ahead (FPF reported).

 

Reference

Almroth, B. C. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adk9846" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Chemical simplification and tracking in plastics.?Nature Letters. DOI: 10.1126/science.adk9846

   The post Global plastics treaty should include chemical simplification, scientists demand first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/monomers-migrate-from-plastics-some-are-edcs Wed, 08 Nov 2023 06:46:59 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339686 Monomers migrate from plastics, some are EDCs first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In a review article published on September 7, 2023, in the journal Foods, Celia Muzeza and co-authors from the University of South Africa, Johannesburg, discuss the migration of plastic monomers from food packaging into food and the associated implications for health.

Monomers are polymerized to produce polymers, such as plastics. However, polymerization reactions are rarely complete, and therefore residual, unreacted monomers might still be present in finished plastic products in concentrations of up to 4% (by weight). Muzeza and co-authors describe that these unreacted monomers can migrate into the packaged food in a four-step process: (1) diffusion through the polymer, (2) the desorption from the polymer surface, (3) the sorption at the plastic-food-interface, (4) and the desorption into the food. According to their review, this migration has been demonstrated for polystyrene, polyamides, polycarbonates, polyvinyl chloride, and polyurethane. Further, they summarize the different pathways of migration and highlight that some of these monomers are known endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), adding that their migration would “deteriorate the nutritional value, safety, and organoleptic qualities of packaged foods.?/p>

While discussing the human health risk associated with EDC monomer presence in food, Muzeza et al. focus on bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), bisphenol A diglyceride ether (BADGE, CAS 1675-54-3), and caprolactam (CAS 105-60-2), their uses, evidence for migration, and concentrations in food. Their comprehensive 38-page review further touches upon factors influencing monomer migration and includes many useful tables such as on the known health effects of EDCs contained in food packaging materials. The authors conclude that “monomers contained within plastic food packaging are a significant source of food chemical contamination, with endocrine-disrupting effects that affect current and future human generations and environmental health,?which spurs them to call for more research and consumer awareness campaigns.

In 2021, Wiesinger and co-authors mapped 10,547 chemicals intentionally used in plastics, including monomers, additives, and processing aids, and also provided their hazard classification where available (FPF reported). And, researchers from the Food Packaging Forum (FPF) identified 388 chemicals intentionally used in food contact materials (FCMs) that are harmful according to the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (FPF reported), and therefore of high concern. Among them are 30 monomers with empirical evidence for their presence in FCMs and 22 with evidence for migration from finished food contact articles, like packaging. Most of them are known to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction (CMRs), and four are EDCs (FPF reported). This underlines that hazardous monomers in FCMs are a relevant source of human exposure and that assuming all monomers have reacted and are not of relevance for human exposure is not based on scientific evidence.

 

Reference

Muzeza, C. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/12/18/3364" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">The Mechanisms of Plastic Food-Packaging Monomers?Migration into Food Matrix and the Implications on Human Health.?Foods. DOI: 10.3390/foods12183364

The post Monomers migrate from plastics, some are EDCs first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/report-discusses-sustainability-and-circularity-claims-on-pet-drinking-bottles Mon, 06 Nov 2023 08:00:27 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339672 Report discusses sustainability and circularity claims on PET drinking bottles first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On October 31, 2023, civil society organizations ClientEarth, ECOS, and Zero Waste Europe working with consulting firm Eunomia, co-published a report investigating green claims on PET beverage bottles in Europe. The report discusses the feasibility of a completely circular system for PET drinking bottles, where all bottles consist of 100% recycled content. Additionally, the authors identify potentially misleading claims to consumers on PET bottles concerning recyclability and recycled content (FPF reported, here and here).

The analysis considers the three primary components of a standard PET bottle: the bottle body, the cap, and the label. While bottle bodies are currently being recycled in many municipalities, a 100% recycling rate without the need for virgin materials is unattainable, say the authors. PET bottle circularity would require a 100% collection rate, no losses across the whole recycling stream, and all the recycled material to flow back into the production of PET bottles, instead of applications like other forms of packaging or textiles. Furthermore, there are technical and physical constraints of the mechanical recycling process and the PET material: currently, the physical qualities of PET cannot be maintained through infinite recycling cycles (FPF reported).

The bottle caps, usually made from polypropylene (PP) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are being recycled, but are not turned back into bottle caps. Currently, there are no mechanical recycling processes for any plastics besides PET that are authorized for use in food contact in the EU.

Labels are particularly challenging to truly recycle since the colored materials, adhesives, and high moisture content limit their recyclability (FPF reported). On top of that, the infrastructure to recycle this type of material is currently lacking in Europe ?resulting in likely virtually no recycling of labels back into new labels, according to the report.

The document discusses two claims that are commonly found on PET drinking bottles: bottles being ?00% recyclable?and bottles having ?00% recycled content? The report argues that the former claim can be misinterpreted as implying all components of the beverage bottle are recyclable, which varies in practice. The latter claim might suggest the entire product is made from recycled content. However, not all bottle components are made from recycled content, and even the bottle body may not be entirely post-consumer recycled.

Lastly, the report cautions that life cycle assessment (LCA) tools that are commonly employed to evaluate the environmental impacts of PET bottles may not fully account for system losses or PET polymer degradation over time. The authors advocate for clearer and standardized communication practices related to recycled PET bottles and sustainability claims (FPF reported). Recommendations given in the report include avoiding the use of the term ‘recyclable? providing clear recycling instructions, using transparent methods for communicating recycled content, and refraining from marketing language or imagery implying circularity, sustainability, or climate neutrality (FPF reported).

 

Reference

Eunomia (October 31, 2023). ?a href="//www.eunomia.co.uk/reports-tools/100-greenwash-green-claims-on-pet-beverage-bottles-in-europe/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">100% Greenwash? Green Claims on PET Beverage Bottles in Europe.?/p>The post Report discusses sustainability and circularity claims on PET drinking bottles first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/344-volatile-organic-compounds-in-paperboard-new-study Mon, 06 Nov 2023 05:50:52 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339683 344 volatile organic compounds in paperboard, new study first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on October 13, 2023, in the journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, Dan Li from the National Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Material, Guangdong, China, and co-authors studied the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in paperboard with food contact.

The researchers obtained from Chinese companies seventeen samples of uncoated paperboard intended for use in drinking cups, straws, baking paper, or yogurt boxes. Using headspace/solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME), they extracted the chemicals contained in a 2 g sample exposed to 80°C for 30 min. Since the scientists targeted VOCs, and odorous VOCs specifically, they applied the samples to comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-QTOF-MS). Next, they compared the mass spectra and linear retention indices with a commercially available mass spectral library (NIST 17 library) for compound identification. Furthermore, they employed 13 reference standards for semi-quantification (i.e., estimation of levels) of some potentially detected VOCs and determined the most important odor-causing VOCs in their samples by calculating odor activity values. Li and co-authors tentatively identified 344 VOCs in the investigated samples including aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, ethers, esters, alkanes, and aromatic compounds. 2-ethylhexanol (CAS 104-76-7), followed by nonanal (CAS 124-19-6), hexanal (CAS 66-25-1), and octanal (CAS 124-13-0) were present at the highest levels. The scientists highlighted five substances “due to their potential adverse impact on the organoleptic qualities of packaged food items and their potential toxicity?which were 2-methylnaphthalene (CAS 91-57-6), 2-pentyl-furan (CAS 3777-69-3), furfural (CAS 98-01-1), 1-octen-3-one (CAS  4312-99-6), and 1-octen-3-ol (CAS  3391-86-4). Among the 366 VOCs, they identified 66 as key odor compounds which may lead to a “distinctive green or plant-like aroma? not only of the packaging itself but also of the packaged food. They named 12 substances associated with biogenic sources as the strongest contributors to odor. Concerning their methodological approach, the scientists emphasized that 2D chromatography allows for a significantly better separation of chromatographic peaks compared to traditional GC-MS.

Previous studies have demonstrated that chemicals migrate from paper and board packaging ?sometimes in amounts exceeding migration from plastics (FPF reported). Even when a barrier layer is added to avoid direct contact with food and paper, chemicals may still migrate into the food including metals (FPF reported) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS; FPF reported and here). According to EU regulations for food contact materials and articles (EU 1935/2004, Art. 3), a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics?of the food is prohibited.

 

Reference

Li, D. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19440049.2023.2259029?src=" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Analysis of volatile organic compounds and potential odor compounds in food contact paperboard using headspace two-dimensional GC- QTOF-MS.?Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A. DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2023.2259029

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News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/us-state-policies-on-pfas-in-food-contact-q3-and-q4-2023 Thu, 02 Nov 2023 11:14:02 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339668 US state policies on PFAS in food contact, Q3 and Q4 2023 first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> Maine 

Maine has proposed a rule to prohibit nine types of fiber-based food contact articles with intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This initiative follows the restrictions made by Washington state. Washington’s Department of Ecology verified there are safer alternatives to PFAS for certain single-use food packaging and foodware items including bags, bowls, clamshells, trays, and pizza boxes. Maine first passed a law to prohibit PFAS in 2019 with an initial compliance deadline set for January 2022, but there were delays to investigate if Washington’s findings were economically feasible in Maine (FPF reported). 

The draft rule will also restrict the sale of food packaging and gloves containing phthalates. Maine had a regulation against phthalates in food packaging since July 2022, but further clarifications were necessary for enforcement (FPF reported). These bans will only apply to food or beverage companies with over $1 billion in annual national sales.  

A public feedback period is open until November 30, 2023.  

Minnesota 

Minnesota is also soliciting stakeholder feedback related to PFAS. Specifically, two proposed rules regarding reporting and fees related to a new law aiming to phase out non-essential PFAS use by 2032 (FPF reported). The focus is on shaping a framework for collecting data on products with intentionally added PFAS, with manufacturers expected to provide detailed information to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency by January 1, 2026.  

The fee structure is being concurrently developed to cover the costs of this program, potentially based on the products, the number of PFAS reported, or the amounts of PFAS reported. The Pollution Control Agency aims to finalize these rules by 2024 and is seeking input to ensure clarity and effective implementation.  

The consultation for both the reporting and the fees is open until November 28, 2023.  

California 

California’s Attorney General has warned companies of penalties for selling PFAS-containing food packaging or failing to disclose certain chemicals in cookware, under Assembly Bill 1200, effective from 2023 (FPF reported). This statute bans intentionally added PFAS in fiber-based food packaging, mandates online chemical disclosures for cookware, and limits claims about PFAS-free and other hazard groups.  

According to reporting from ChemicalWatch, “The AG’s [Attorney General’s] office did not immediately respond to an inquiry regarding what prompted the warning.?/span> 

From 2024, on-product ingredient labeling will be required, extending chemical-free claim restrictions to cookware packaging. Manufacturers can no longer claim a product is certain-chemical-free if any other chemical(s) that fall under that group in California’s Candidate List for chemicals of concern are still in the article. Ortho-phthalates, for example, are one of the chemical groups; a manufacturer would not be able to say “DEHP-free?if any other ortho-phthalate from the Candidate List is still included.  

Nevada 

Back in June 2023, Nevada’s Governor Joe Lombardo vetoed a bi-partisan bill to ban various PFAS-containing products and mandate labeling on PFAS-containing cookware, citing concerns of imposing a heavy regulatory burden too soon and suggesting awaiting federal guidance. The vetoed bill (SB 76), proposed banning the sale of items like cosmetics, food packaging, and certain indoor furnishings containing intentionally added PFAS from 2024. It also required cookware manufacturers to disclose PFAS ingredients on labels and online, like the rule in California. According to Chemical Watch, the state senator who sponsored the bill plans to introduce it again next year. 

 

Stay up-to-date with ongoing policy engagement opportunities concerning food contact chemicals, materials, and articles on the Food Packaging Forum consultations page.   

 

References 

Julia John (October 24, 2023). ?/span>Maine looks to prohibit several food contact materials containing PFASs.?Chemical Watch 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (2023). ?/span>PFAS in products: Reporting.?/span> 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (2023). ?/span>PFAS in products: Fees.?/span> 

Rob Bonta (October 17, 2023). ?/span>Attorney General Bonta warns companies of responsibility to disclose presence of dangerous PFAS.?Office of the Attorney General 

Julia John (October 21, 2023). ?/span>California AG warns industry to comply with obligations related to PFAS-containing FCMs.?Chemical Watch 

Julia John (June 20, 2023). ?/span>Nevada governor rejects legislation to ban certain PFAS-containing articles.?Chemical Watch 

The post US state policies on PFAS in food contact, Q3 and Q4 2023 first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/china-seeks-input-on-updated-fcm-safety-standards Wed, 01 Nov 2023 12:45:58 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339657 The Chinese National Health Commission published two draft proposals for food contact material (FCM) safety standards; focus on general safety standards and silicone rubber FCMs; public consultation open until December 15

The post China seeks input on updated FCM safety standards first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
On October 18, 2023, the National Health Commission (NHC) of China published two drafts for the safety standard of food contact materials (FCMs). One refers to general safety requirements for food contact materials and articles (FCMs and FCAs), and the other one to silicone rubber FCMs and FCAs (FPF reported and here).  

The revised general safety standard includes a broad range of requirements, such as basic safety criteria, restrictions, compliance measures, test methods, traceability requirements, and product information specifications. It would replace the existing standard GB 4806.1-2016 National Food Safety Standard: General Safety Requirements on Food Contact Materials and Articles, issued in 2016. The requirements apply to all FCMs and FCAs within the country. Notable changes include a revised definition of food contact effective barriers and adjustments to production information requirements, including the declaration of conformity. 

The silicone rubber proposal introduces a completely new standard that outlines the general safety requirements for silicone rubber FCMs, featuring a positive list of food contact chemicals, as well as testing methods for volatile compounds. 

The NHC invites feedback and comments on these proposed standards from the public and relevant stakeholders before December 15, 2023. 

Want to know about other open consultations? The Food Packaging Forum provides an up-to-date list of open consultations related to FCMs. 

 

References 

Alexandra Warren (October 25, 2023) ?/span>China proposes update to FCM safety requirements, new silicone standard.?(Enhesa

National Health Commission China (October 18, 2023) ?/span>Letter from the Secretariat of the National Food Safety Standards Review Committee soliciting opinions on 11 national food safety standards.?(in Chinese

National Health Commission China (October 18, 2023) ?/span>List of standards currently open for public comment.?(in Chinese

The post China seeks input on updated FCM safety standards first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/why-is-the-global-plastics-treaty-necessary Tue, 31 Oct 2023 15:26:52 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339634 Minderoo Foundation scientists publish commentary; to be successful the treaty needs to include a global plastic production cap, limits on single-use plastic production, extended producer responsibility scheme, ban on plastic combustion, and disclosure of all plastic chemicals

The post Why is the global plastics treaty necessary? first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
In a commentary article published on October 17, 2023, in the journal The Lancet, Philip Landrigan and three co-authors from the Australia-based Minderoo Foundation provide reasons for why they support the establishment of a global plastic treaty.

As a core provision of the United Nations (UN) global treaty to end plastic pollution (FPF reported), the authors call for a mandatory global cap on plastic production since limiting supply directly tackles the source of the pollution. Downstream approaches such as recycling are less efficient, ineffective, and not safe for applications such as food packaging (FPF reported) according to scientists, physicians, and health workers. National limits on the production of single-use plastics is another key provision in their proposal, for the same reason. Downstream, Landrigan et al. argue, that the treaty should ban plastic combustion and include extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes. EPR programs already exist in some parts of the world (FPF reported) where they promote reusable plastics production (FPF reported) and support the transition to a circular economy.

Concerning chemicals, Landrigan and co-authors call for the full disclosure, traceability, and premarket toxicity testing of all plastic chemicals which would only be possible through “a paradigm shift in chemical policies.?Other scientists have also stressed the importance of integrating all chemicals contained in plastics as part of the global plastics treaty (FPF reported). Roughly 13,000 chemicals have been associated with plastics or their production, including 3,200 of potential concern (FPF reported). Just recently, Minderoo published a report and an interactive Plastic Health Map to outline the potential health effects of human exposure to micro- and nanoplastics and chemicals associated with plastics (FPF reported).

From an organizational point of view, the authors emphasize that for the treaty to be just and protective, its negotiation committee needs to include representatives of vulnerable populations, such as indigenous people, pregnant women, and people living close to plastic industries. “The global plastics treaty will require proper governance. It must avoid the trap of decision making by consensus in which one nation can hold the world hostage, and allow instead for implementation by countries that endorse the treaty through non-party trade provisions.?An independent body of international scientists should guide the treaty’s implementation, Landrigan and co-authors clarified.

In November 2023, the intergovernmental negotiating committee will convene for the third time with the intent to draft a global plastics treaty by the end of 2024. The Zero Draft text published by the UN in September is designed to guide the discussions ahead (FPF reported).

 

Reference

Landrigan et al. (October 17, 2023) “The global plastics treaty: why is it needed?” The Lancet

The post Why is the global plastics treaty necessary? first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/fpf-comments-on-fccs-under-review-for-reach-candidate-list Fri, 27 Oct 2023 06:40:34 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339619 European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is reviewing five food contact chemicals (FCCs) for possible inclusion on the REACH Candidate List of SVHCs; Food Packaging Forum (FPF) shares information on where the FCCs have been measured in food contact; two are on the EU positive list for chemicals in plastic food contact materials; FCCs under consideration for SVHC status and allowed in FCMs highlights need to create stronger connection between FCM regulation and REACH

The post FPF comments on FCCs under review for REACH Candidate List first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
On October 16, 2023, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) completed consultations on six substances that Member States have proposed to include on the REACH Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs). Five of the proposed substances are known to migrate or be extractable from plastic and other food contact materials according to the Food Packaging Forum’s (FPF’s) Database on migrating and extractable food contact chemicals (FCCmigex). Two of them are included in Annex 1 of the EU Regulation on food contact materials ((EU) No 10/2011) – the positive list for authorized chemicals in plastic food contact materials (FCMs).  

For substances on the positive list for plastic FCMs restrictions and specifications regarding their use and specific migration limits (SMLs) can apply. Without an SML, they are subject to the overall migration limit of 60 mg/kg food. In contrast, for non-plastic materials, such as paper and board, metals and alloys, silicones, and rubbers, EU-wide, harmonized regulations do not exist. For these materials, manufacturers rely on national regulations, if existent, or perform risk assessments to be shared with the authorities. 

REACH ((EU) 2020/2096) demands the substitution of SVHCs by safer alternatives in industrial products, processes, and in consumer articles solely based on their intrinsic hazard properties, not based on their risk (where both hazard properties and exposure levels are considered). However, the human health effects of FCMs are excluded from the REACH authorization process. This means that any chemical that has been authorized under the Plastic Regulation is not affected if a substance becomes an SVHC under REACH. One reason is that substances from the positive list obtain timely unrestricted authorization for their use in plastic FCMs based on a chemical risk assessment, but no regular revisions of authorizations are foreseen that could consider new data and harmonize the FCM legislation with REACH or other European regulations. 

Especially in the absence of material-specific regulations, Article 3 of the FCM Framework Regulation ((EC) No 1935/2004) applies: “materials and articles, […], shall be manufactured […] so that, under normal or foreseeable conditions of use, they do not transfer their constituents to food in quantities which could endanger human health.?However, consistency and clarity between regulations could be improved if any SVHC is automatically reassessed and undergoes an authorization process for its application in FCMs – whether or not it has been previously authorized for its use in FCMs. 

Since currently SVHCs are not automatically restricted for FCM use in the EU, an alternative approach to better guarantee safety would be the following: Re-evaluation of any risk assessment that provides the basis for authorization of an FCM substance as soon as this substance is classified as an SVHC. Such a re-evaluation should include the most current data on toxicity and actual exposure, but also a socio-economic analysis and search for substitutions as it is demanded under REACH. Combining better enforcement, an explicit ban of SVHCs without specific authorization for use in FCMs, and re-evaluations of previously authorized FCM substances could lead to safer materials in the EU. 

The five substances, their reason for potential inclusion on the Candidate List, the FCMs they were measured in or to migrate from, and their inclusion status in the EU FCM regulation: 

ChemicalCASproposed reason for SVHC statusFCMs migrated or extracted fromin Annex 1 (plastics positive list)
2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol732-26-3Toxic for reproduction; PBT; vPvBpolyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), recycled PET, and polyamide (PA) plasticsNo
2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol3147-75-9vPvBpolycarbonate (PC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and undisclosed plastic polymers and printing inksNo
2-(dimethylamino)-2-[(4-methylphenyl)methyl]-1-[4-(morpholin-4-yl)phenyl]butan-1-one119344-86-4Toxic for reproductionaluminum, multi-material, paper/board, multilayer plastic, polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS)No
Bumetrizole3896-11-5vPvB polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polylactic acid (PLA), and mulitlayer plasticsYes
Dibutyl phthalate84-74-2Endocrine disrupting properties (environment) aluminum, steel, multimaterial, cork, rubber, silicone, wood, paper/board, recycled paper/board, multilayer plastic, as well as polyamide (PA), polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene (PE), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), recycled PET, polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plasticsYes
 

Reference 

ECHA (2023). ?/span>Proposals to identify Substances of Very High Concern previous consultations.”?/span> 

Read more 

Geueke, B., and Muncke, J. (2018) Substances of Very High Concern in Food Contact Materials: Migration and Regulatory Background. Packag. Technol. Sci., 31: 757?69. //doi.org/10.1002/pts.2288

The post FPF comments on FCCs under review for REACH Candidate List first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/new-database-on-global-plastics-laws-and-policies Thu, 19 Oct 2023 07:00:10 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339586 New database on global plastics laws and policies first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On October 16, 2023, civil society organization Plastic Pollution Coalition launched the Global Plastics Laws Database with the goal to support organizations and individuals in the fight against plastic pollution worldwide. Developed in partnership with Break Free From Plastic Europe, Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide, and Surfrider U.S., the database aggregates information on plastics-related policies from 115 countries (out of a total of approximately 195), representing a significant portion of the global population.

According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, the new database can cater to the needs of a diverse array of users from a variety of backgrounds “to research, track, and visualize plastic legislation that has been passed around the world.?Policies are organized into nine different categories according to the entire lifecycle of plastics and key topics: Design and Reuse, Extended Producer Responsibility, Maritime Sources, Microplastics, Production and Manufacturing, Reduction, Transparency and Traceability, Waste Management, and Waste Trade.

The tool is delivered in anticipation of the upcoming UN Plastics Treaty negotiations, INC-3, set to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, on November 13 ?19, 2023. In September 2023, the United Nations unveiled the ‘Zero Draft?of the Plastics Treaty (FPF reported ), a starting point for discussion and amendments ahead of November’s meeting.

 

Reference

Plastic Pollution Coalition (October 16, 2023) ?a href="//www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2023/10/16/global-plastic-laws-database-launches" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">The Global Plastic Laws Database: A Resource to Track Policies Around the World.?/p>The post New database on global plastics laws and policies first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/minderoo-foundation-systematically-maps-human-health-effects-from-plastic-associated-chemicals Tue, 17 Oct 2023 12:18:49 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339583 Minderoo Foundation systematically maps human health effects from plastic-associated chemicals first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> On October 10, 2023, the Australia-based Minderoo Foundation, Perth, published an article in the journal Environment International, in which Louise Margaret Goodes and her 16 co-authors performed a systematic evidence mapping to outline the potential human health effects that can develop when exposed to the chemicals and micro- and nanoplastics associated with plastics. The data included in the interactive Plastic Health Map are freely accessible, and together with the report point out knowledge gaps as well as policy and research recommendations.

To create the Map, the authors searched Medline and Embase databases for peer-reviewed studies in English published between 1960 and 2021 focusing on the human health effects of “plastic-associated particles/chemicals measured and detected in bio-samples.?By “plastic-associated particles?they refer to micro- and nanoplastics, and “plastic-associated chemicals?to the polymers and selected plastic additives, namely plasticizers, flame retardants, bisphenols, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Of the 100,949 identified articles, 3,587 met the inclusion criteria. From these articles, data were extracted on the study design and population (e.g., country, age, sex), exposure (e.g., single or multiple exposures), and associated health effects (e.g., clinical, biochemical). The study protocol was published in February 2023 (FPF reported).

The database includes 1,202 plastic additives and 355 polymers. Users such as researchers, policymakers, and any other interested person can filter the dashboard by chemical and chemical class, population group, exposure, health outcomes, and many more. This also allows one to answer specific research questions and identify gaps.

The most investigated plastic chemical classes were polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) with more than 31% of included articles looking at them followed by phthalates with approximately 24%. Strikingly, not even 30% of the over 1,500 chemicals have yet been assessed for health impacts. Further shortcomings identified in the report include the absence of human exposure studies on micro- and nanoplastic health effects, the impact of a father’s plastic exposure on their children, as well as the fact that few studies were conducted in low-income countries (one each in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Guinea-Bissau while most are done in the US followed by China) or with elderly people. Minderoo also found that few studies investigate the replacements of popular but hazardous chemicals (see also regrettable substitutions article).

In Environmental Health News (EHN), Sarah Dunlop, Minderoo Foundation’s head of plastics and human health, stated that “the extent of the gaps shocked us,?and emphasized that “all new plastic chemicals should be tested for safety before being introduced in consumer products.?/p>

What is more is that Minderoo focused on a specific set of chemicals, meaning that many more ?including substances of known health concern or not yet tested ones ?are used in plastics. For instance, the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) technical report on chemicals in plastic associated 13,000 substances with plastics or their production, including 3,200 of potential concern while many chemicals have not yet been screened for their hazard properties (FPF reported). Furthermore, focusing on food contact chemicals, the Food Packaging Forum’s (FPF’s) Database on Migrating and Extractable Food Contact Chemicals (FCCmigex) includes over 1000 chemicals that were detected migrating from these plastics into food or food simulants (FPF reported and here).

The Plastic Health Map is one component of a larger Minderoo project investigating the effects of plastics and health. The Minderoo Foundation opened a lab together with the University of Queensland to study micro- and nanoplastics in human blood and tissue samples (FPF reported) and formed the Minderoo ?Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health. These projects and others aim to analyze plastic’s health impacts and develop science-based solutions to protect human health (FPF reported).  In March 2023, the Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health published an extensive report summarizing plastics?effects across life cycle on human health, environment, and the economy focus on the effects from phthalates, bisphenols, PFAS, brominated flame retardants, organophosphate flame retardant, as well as micro- and nanoplastics (FPF reported).

 

References

Goodes, L. M. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412023004981" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">The Plastic Health Map: A systematic evidence map of human health studies on plastic-associated chemicals. ?Environment International. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2023.108225

Minderoo (2023). ?a href="//r.flo.minderoo.org/Systematic-Evidence-Map/?_gl=1*16ta632*_ga*MzgzMDc2NjA5LjE2OTc1MjUyNTA.*_ga_MFMM3WMMTC*MTY5NzUyNTI0OS4xLjEuMTY5NzUyNjA5Ny42MC4wLjA." data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">The Plastic Health Map.?/p>

Read more

Minderoo (October 10, 2023). ?a href="//www.minderoo.org/plastic-health-map" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Plastic Health Map ?the state of research on plastic in people.?/p>

Environmental Health News (October 11, 2023). ?a href="//www.ehn.org/plastic-exposure-human-health-2665876898.html" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Massive new database on how plastic chemicals harm our health.?/p>The post Minderoo Foundation systematically maps human health effects from plastic-associated chemicals first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/two-studies-associate-microplastic-exposure-with-cancer Mon, 16 Oct 2023 05:17:05 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339502 Two studies associate microplastic exposure with cancer first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on September 24, 2023, in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Gregory M. Zarus and co-authors from the Office of Innovation and Analytics, Atlanta, USA, reviewed 34 studies on the occupational health effects of microplastic exposure and found a relationship between polyvinyl chloride (PVC) particles and liver toxicity.

The authors screened the literature for publications focusing on worker exposure to microplastics that also reported health outcomes. Of the 34 included studies, 17 concerned PVC and 17 more included five other plastic types. Separating the reported effects by plastic type, Zarus et al. found “an increased risk of lung cancer associated with exposure to high concentrations of PVC microplastic ‘dust’ particles.?Besides effects on the respiratory system, exposure to PVC was further associated with liver damage including lung cancers. These human outcomes were confirmed by the animal exposure studies the authors also had a look at. Unlike PVC, the available data did not permit conclusions on the carcinogenic effect of other microplastic types, such as polystyrene (PS). One problem particularly highlighted for PS (which is, however, also to be considered for PVC and its monomer vinyl chloride) was that the effects of PS microplastics were difficult to separate from those of styrene. While worker exposure to PS particles still needs to be further researched, animal data indicates a hepatoxic effect.

Guangquan Chen from Tongji University, Shanghai, China, and co-authors performed an in vitro and an in vivo (mice) study to investigate the potential of PS nanoplastics to induce epithelial ovarian cancer. In their article published on October 5, 2023, in the journal Science of the Total Environment, the authors described that they used spherical 100 nm-sized PS particles to expose the human ovarian cancer HEY cell line to concentrations between 1 and 40 mg/L for 48h to up to 16 days. Furthermore, eight Balb/C nude female mice received 10 mg/L microplastics over 27 days and were compared to unexposed control mice.

Concerning the in vitro tests, the scientists found the particles reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent manner, and changed gene expression and the metabolic pathway. The two latter effects were also observed in microplastic-exposed mice. Concentrations of 10 mg/L further accelerated the growth of epithelial ovarian tumors. The authors concluded that exposure to PS nanoplastics “caused a significant acceleration of epithelial ovarian cancer tumor growth in mice and a dose-dependent decrease in the relative viability of epithelial ovarian cancer cells by altering the tumor growth microenvironment.?/p>

Previously, researchers have reported microplastics to be potentially connected to colorectal cancer (FPF reported) and to exacerbate breast cancer metastasis (FPF reported).

 

References

Chen, G. et al. (2023). ?a href="//www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969723062198?via%3Dihub" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Polystyrene nanoparticle exposure accelerates ovarian cancer development in mice by altering the tumor microenvironment.?Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.167592

Zarus, D. et al. (2023). ?a href="//onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajim.23540" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Worker studies suggest unique liver carcinogenicity potential of polyvinyl chloride microplastic.?American Journal of Industrial Medicine. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.23540

 The post Two studies associate microplastic exposure with cancer first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]>
News Articles | Food Packaging Forum //topcookbox.com/news/pfas-are-present-in-vietnam-fcms-especially-mochi-paper-trays Fri, 13 Oct 2023 05:32:01 +0000 //topcookbox.com/?post_type=fpf-news&p=339561 PFAS are present in Vietnam FCMs, especially mochi paper trays first appeared on Food Packaging Forum.]]> In an article published on September 12, 2023, in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Anh Quoc Hoang from the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, and co-authors analyzed 17 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging from Vietnam. They purchased 18 samples ranging from cookie wrappers, to instant noodle cups, to mochi paper trays, from supermarkets and fast-food restaurants in Hanoi. After performing extractions in methanol for 2h with ultrasound at 60 °C, targeted screening for 13 perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and four sulfonates (PFSs) was done with liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

The researchers detected PFAS in 16 out of 18 samples, mostly in low levels (up to 2.95 ng/g packaging). Only the three mochi paper tray samples contained higher concentrations with 372 to 624 ng/g. Here, most PFAS were long-chain PFCAs. Generally, PFAS types and levels varied greatly depending on the packaging type and origin while PFCAs were detected more frequently than PFS.

Hoang and co-authors also performed a literature review to allow a comparison with PFAS concentrations measured in food contact materials (FCMs) around the world. This showed that the PFAS profile of their samples was similar to FCMs from China and India. However, they emphasized that “information about PFASs in FCMs from developing Asian and African countries is scarcer than the developed world?and called for further research to focus on PFAS occurrence and impacts in these nations. While health costs of PFAS have been calculated for Europe (FPF reported) and the United States (FPF reported) such estimates are yet absent for Asia and Africa.

In addition to their mini-review on global PFAS levels, the scientists also discussed potential sources of PFAS in FCMs as well as their behavior and fate. Due to the low concentrations of PFAS in their own experiments, the authors assumed the PFAS were unintentionally added, non-functional (e.g., impurities, degradation products) chemical components.

In the summer of 2023, a few more research articles focused on PFAS in Asia looking into drinking water, edible oils, and baking trays. The baking tray study additionally compared samples from China and Spain but only detected PFAS from the Chinese samples (FPF reported). PFAS in environmental media have been suggested to present a new planetary boundary (FPF reported).

 

Reference

Hoang, A. Q., et al. (2023). ?a href="//link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-023-29746-5" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="follow external noopener">Perfluoroalkyl substances in food contact materials: preliminary investigation in Vietnam and global comparison. ?Environmental Science and Pollution Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-023-29746-5

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