New Trademarked Certification for Reusable Plastics

New certification scheme by AIMPLAS tests chemical safety of reusable plastic food packaging prior to consumer use, including non-intentionally added substances (NIAS); tests physical characteristics after five dishwasher cycles

AIMPLAS Plastics Technology Center in Spain has created a certification scheme for reusable plastic food packaging based on the European Union Regulation on food contact materials and the standard on reusable plastic tableware.  

The certification involves four analyses: (i) a quantification of the specific and overall migration rates of all substances used in the production of a reusable plastic, (ii) a risk assessment of the migration of non-intentionally added substances (NIAS), (iii) a sensory analysis of the food stored within the container, followed by (iv) a dishwasher resistance test, assessing the physical condition of the material after five washing cycles. The “designed to be reusable” certification lasts three years. Afterwards, the tests must be redone to ensure continued compliance.  

The certification process tests chemical migration before dishwashing but studies have shown that dishwashing can both increase and decrease chemical migration from plastic water bottles. Over 400 compounds were still detected to migrate from plastic products that were already one year in use after dishwashing (FPF reported). Though for bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) specifically, another study found migration decreases with dishwashing (FPF reported).  

The Food Packaging Forum has written up a brief description of the circumstances that increase chemical migration from food packaging.  This description can help individuals to decrease their exposure to chemicals migrating from reusable and non-reusable packaging into food (FPF reported).  



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