Safety assessment of the process Steinbeis PolyVert, based on the Vacunite (EREMA Basic and Polymetrix SSP V-LeaN) technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials

Claude Lambré, José Manuel Barat Baviera, Claudia Bolognesi, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Riccardo Crebelli, David Michael Gott, Konrad Grob, Marcel Mengelers, Alicja Mortensen, Gilles Rivière, Inger Lise Steffensen, Christina Tlustos, Henk Van Loveren, Laurence Vernis, Holger Zorn, Vincent Dudler, Maria Rosaria Milana, Constantine Papaspyrides, Maria de Fátima Tavares PoçasEmmanouil Tsochatzis, Evgenia Lampi, EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP)

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) assessed the safety of the recycling process Steinbeis PolyVert (EU register number RECYC280), which uses the VACUNITE (EREMA Basic and Polymetrix SSP V-leaN) technology. The input consists of hot caustic washed and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes, mainly originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, with no more than 5% PET from non-food consumer applications. The flakes are pre-decontaminated in a first ■■■■■ ■■■■■ at high ■■■■■ under vacuum before being extruded, pelletised and crystallised. The pellets are then ■■■■■ and submitted to solid-state polycondensation (SSP) in two parallel ■■■■■ reactor lines at high ■■■■■ under ■■■■■ and ■■■■■. Having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that step 2 (■■■■■ reactor) and steps 4 and 5 (■■■■■ and SSP) are critical for determining the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control the performance are temperature, pressure and residence time for steps 2, 4 and 5 as well as the gas velocity for steps 4 and 5. It was demonstrated that this recycling process is able to ensure that the level of migration of potential unknown contaminants into food is below the conservatively modelled migration of 0.1 μg/kg food. Therefore, the Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from this process is not of safety concern, when used at up to 100% for the manufacture of materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs, including drinking water, for long-term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill. Articles made of this recycled PET are not intended to be used in microwave and conventional ovens and such uses are not covered by this evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere07919
JournalEFSA Journal
Volume21
Issue4
Number of pages14
ISSN1831-4732
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • food contact materials
  • plastic
  • poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)
  • recycling process
  • safety assessment
  • Steinbeis PolyVert GmbH
  • VACUNITE (EREMA Basic and Polymetrix SSP V-leaN)

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