April 7, 2021

Guidance document released for use of recycled plastics in food packaging

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) announced April 7 industry guidance to ensure recycled plastic packaging meets and exceeds compliance requirements to several U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations related to food-contact materials (FCM).

The guidance document was developed over a two-year process that combined association member companies’ unique industry insight with PLASTICS’ regulatory expertise.

“As recyclers know, federal requirements for post-consumer recycled plastics usage in food-contact applications can be extremely complex,” said George Southworth, Senior Director of the PLASTICS Processors and Brand Owners Advisory Group. “This guidance document is the result of a collaborative effort with our valued members and will provide clarity in understanding and writing compliance statements for recycled material in food packaging.”

“We are a company that values both community citizenship and innovations that improve customer and consumer experiences, so we’ve been actively advocating for expanding access to high quality recycled plastics,” said Phil Berrier, Product Safety & Compliance, and Analytical Services Leader at Printpack. “The guidance we created will further open supply chain collaboration for food safe recycled materials so food packaging converters can keep up with downstream demand and brand owners can confidently promote their products.”

Key elements of the guidance document address:

  • Food contact status
  • Microbiological contamination
  • Kosher and halal compliance
  • Nanotechnology

The guidance document is a product of PLASTICS’ Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Packaging Materials Committee (FDCPMC). This public policy committee is comprised of company representatives from all segments of the plastics industry, working to ensure plastic packaging protects both the product it contains and the health and safety of the end user. The committee works to harmonize regulatory policy that also supports economic growth and global trade in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors.




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