Styrenics Circular Solutions Seeks New EFSA Opinion Confirming the Safety of Mechanically Recycled Polystyrene as a Food Contact Material

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– Second application filed for EU authorization of mechanically recycled polystyrene for food contact based on Gneuss super-cleaning technology

– Several super-cleaning technologies for the mechanical “PET-like” recycling of polystyrene into food contact material broaden investment options and accelerate the implementation of the SCS roadmap

BRUSSELS, February 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Styrenic circular solutions (SCS), the value chain initiative to realize the circular economy of styrenic polymers, at submitted its second application for EU authorization to mechanically recycled polystyrene (rPS) as a food contact material. The SCS already has two submissions to be assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Both cover the same multiple end-use applications, including yogurt cups, hot and cold beverage containers and food trays. However, they rely on two different super-cleaning technologies in the context of mechanical recycling processes in contact with PET-type foods. rPS content in consumer applications can be up to 100%.

Fraunhofer IVV’s scientific dossier for this second application follows several successful challenge tests performed with the plastic recycling machine manufacturer’s super-cleaning technology Gneuss. The process[1] consistently delivered recycled polymer of excellent purity, based on post-consumer food packaging waste. The results were achieved through Gneuss’ Multiple Rotation System (MRS) skip extrusion process which enables highly efficient super-cleaning based on high vacuum, high surface area and melt temperature. Fraunhofer IVV confirmed the excellent cleaning efficiency demonstrated in challenge tests. This technology has already proven itself in Japanwhere Gneuss has been providing FDA-approved super-cleaning for the mechanical recycling of food contact food trays since 2017.

High-purity PET-like mechanical recycling is one of several plastic-to-plastic recycling options available for polystyrene alongside dissolution and depolymerization. PS benefits from the same inherent low diffusion characteristic as PET, allowing mechanical recycling to food grade standards. “While the European Commission has recently presented a draft new regulation on recycled plastics intended to come into contact with food, the SCS is convinced that the underlying criteria developed by EFSA to assess the safety of recycling processes remain valid. For First SCS applicationEFSA has set its risk assessment deadline to March 23, 2022.

jens kathmannSecretary General of SCS, said: “The submission of this second application for a different super-cleaning technology underscores our confidence in the safety of rPS as a food contact material. Expanding the technology base is important to give food grade investors We already have a choice of mechanical recycling facilities. Now we already have two proven super-cleaning technologies and we are confident that several more suitable technologies will follow. This is fully in line with SCS’s broader strategy to adopt multiple technologies to accelerate the realization of the circular economy of styrenics. and our contribution to EU recycling targets. We look forward to positive feedback from EFSA, both on our previous submission and possibly on this application. »

Doctor Constanze HirschhaeuserVice President Quality, HSE and Sustainability of PACCOR Packaging GmbH, one of SCS’s converter members, said: “This second scientific dossier from Fraunhofer IVV and its application for European authorization is very good news for the PS value, confirming once again that rPS meets strict purity requirements for food contact materials. We strongly believe that recycled PS is an instant solution, behaving exactly like virgin in production and it retains all the great qualities of PS, with an added circular reference. The future availability of PS rPS will allow us to offer a range of tailored solutions to best serve our customers.”

On Styrenics Circular Solutions

Styrenics Circular Solutions is the value chain initiative to realize the circular economy of styrenics. The initiative engages the entire value chain in the development and industrialization of new recycling technologies and solutions. It aims to enhance the sustainability of styrenic products while improving resource efficiency within the circular economy.

For more information, visit www.styrenics-circular-solutions.com

[1] For a step-by-step demonstration of the mechanical recycling of polystyrene in contact with food, watch the video here.

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SOURCE Styrene Circular Solutions

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