food packaging

FSSAI Considers Regulations To Reduce Plastic Usage In Food Packaging

The Food Safety Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) is considering four key regulatory measures to reduce the usage of plastic in food packaging. Firstly, the FSSAI is exploring the feasibility of restricting small packs of commodities such as water bottles, shampoo, sauce, pickles, etc. Secondly, they are trying to remove the restrictions on the usage of non-transparent bottles for drinking water thereby allowing businesses to explore the possibilities of using alternatives other than the PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, which are currently being used. Thirdly, they are exploring the possibility of removing the ban on the usage of recycled plastic in food packaging and fourthly, the FSSAI is reviewing the limits of heavy metals in PET bottles and the limits of specific migration limits of Antimony and DEHP (Diethylhexyl- Phthalate).

Use of liquid nitrogen dosing is now permitted in PET bottles’
The FSSAI is also looking at the possibility of setting limits for Cadmium and Chromium, said an official. Hotels can use paper sealed glass bottles for captive use without Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification. Bamboo can be used as an alternative to plastic straws, plates, bowls, cutleries, etc, said the official. “Use of liquid nitrogen dosing is now permitted in PET bottles for packaging of drinking water. This would strengthen the bottle and enable bottle with lower wall thickness,” said an FSSAI official.

‘Discourage plastic use in food packaging’
The CEO of FSSAI, Pawan Agarwal, spoke to news agency ANI about the FSSAI’s goal and said, “As FSSAI is committed to achieving the target to make food and beverage sector plastic-free, we have directed all food business operators in manufacturing and packaging that they should discourage plastic use in food packaging. Along with food safety, we are making regulatory measures to minimise the plastic usage in packaging.

We have asked them to explore the alternatives to plastics such as bio-plastic and biodegradable plastic. They have also been directed to reduce the usage of multiple polymers,” said the official. According to FSSAI, India generates a total of 95 lakhs tonnes of plastic waste per annum. About 38 lakh tonnes is uncollected which ends up in the dump, rivers, and even in animals.

Source : ANI News

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