Plastics producer SABIC has updated all its food contact declarations for food packaging converters to comply with changes to European Union regulations, three years before the required 2016 deadline.
The new food safety and compliance declarations can be accessed by companies in food packaging chain using polyolefins (polyethylenes and polypropylenes).
The changes are aimed at further increasing the safety of packaged foods.
In order to make sure that the polyolefins packaging materials are compliant with the new testing conditions, SABIC retested all of them initially.
The regulations, which will come into force during the next three years, involve stringent testing on the ways migration from packaging into food is tested.
In this context, plastics processors and packaging companies are required to seek further assurances on compliance from their materials suppliers.
Already all substances regulated with a Specific Migration Limit (SML) have been assessed by SABIC under the new conditions (ten days at 60ºC) for PE and PP.
None of its PE or PP materials, as revealed by the tests, will be subject to additional restrictions for use in food contact applications.
SABIC business director for LL/LDPE Mark Vester said the company's commitment to the packaging market accounts for close to a third of all its polymer sales in Europe.
"SABIC carries out regular compliance tests," Vester said.
European food contact legislation is based on the principle that, unless explicitly allowed, all substances are forbidden.
There are stringent limits on specific as well as overall migration, as far as migration from the package to the contents is concerned, the company said.
EU Plastics Regulation (EU) 10/2011 (PIM), which came into force on 1 May 2011, introduces various changes to regulations embodied in Council Directive 82/711/EC, particularly with reference to testing conditions for migration of individual chemicals.
Image: SABIC's new food safety and compliance declarations can be accessed by companies in the food packaging chain using polyolefins. Photo courtesy of SABIC, PR069.