Safety assessment of the processes ‘Sumilon Eco PET SARL’ and ‘ITD’, based on Starlinger IV+® technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials

This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids deals with the safety evaluation of the recycling processes Sumilon Eco PET SARL and ITD (EU register No. RECYC0125 and RECYC0127, respectively) based on the Starlinger IV+® technology. The input of the processes is washed and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, containing no more than 5% of PET from non-food applications. These flakes are dried and crystallised in a reactor, then extruded into pellets which are further crystallised in a second reactor. Crystallised pellets are then pre-heated in a third reactor and fed to the solid state polycondensation (SSP) reactor. Having examined the challenge tests provided, the Panel concluded that the three steps, drying and crystallisation, extrusion and crystallisation and SSP are the critical steps that determine the decontamination efficiency. The operating parameters controlling the performance are temperature, gas flow and residence time for the drying and crystallisation step, and temperature, pressure and residence time for the extrusion and crystallisation step and the SSP step. It was demonstrated that the processes Sumilon Eco PET SARL and ITD are able to ensure that the migration of potential unknown contaminants into food is below a conservatively modelled migration of 0.1 µg/kg food. Therefore, the Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from these processes intended to be used up to 100% for the manufacture of bottles (for ITD) or materials and articles (for Sumilon Eco PET SARL) for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long-term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill, is not considered of safety concern. Trays made of the recycled PET obtained from the process Sumilon Eco PET SARL are not intended to be used, and should not be used in microwave and conventional ovens.

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