Tag Archives: Plastics

Environmental issues of PVC

Environmental issues of PVC

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Environmental issues of PVC

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Other

Environmental issues of PVC

The Commission assesses the impact of PVC waste on the environment and presents proposals for addressing the problems that may arise in this respect.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 26 July 2000 – Environmental issues of PVC [COM(2000) 469 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

A report on the PVC situation in Europe. Opinions vary on the effects of PVC on human health and the environment, as do the measures taken by some Member States to deal with the problem. PVC is one of today’s most widely used plastics. The European Commission therefore considers that an integrated approach is necessary. This would enable two objectives to be achieved: the proper functioning of the internal market and a high level of protection for human health and the environment.

The Green Paper follows on from the Commission’s commitment, in its draft Directive on end-of-life vehicles, to assess the impact of PVC waste on the environment in an “integrated approach”, i.e. throughout the life cycle of PVC. It is the outcome of a three-year study programme launched by the Commission on the technical, scientific and economic aspects of the PVC life cycle. The adoption of the Green Paper is an important milestone in the development of a global Community strategy on PVC.

The Green Paper tackles two main issues:

  • environmental and health questions concerning the use of certain additives in PVC (particularly lead, cadmium and phtalates);
  • the question of waste management (landfill, incineration, recycling of PVC waste): PVC waste is expected to increase by about 80% over the next twenty years.

The Green Paper also presents a range of policy options for reducing the impact on human health and the environment and for possible measures to form part of a future Community strategy on PVC.

The Commission wishes to organise the broadest possible consultation on the topics dealt with in the Green Paper, involving the general public, environmental and consumer NGOs, producers, processors and users of PVC, and the public authorities of the Member States. A public hearing was held in October 2000. On the basis of the consultation, the Commission will present a communication on the Community strategy on PVC.

Comments by interested parties were collected by the Commission until November 2000.

Related Acts

Commission Communication of 21 December 2005 – Taking sustainable use of resources forward: a Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste [– Not published in the Official Journal].
This strategy sets out guidelines and describes measures aimed at reducing the pressure on the environment caused by waste production and management. The main thrust of the strategy is on amending the legislation to improve implementation, and on preventing waste and promoting effective recycling.

of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 December 2001 on general product safety [Official Journal L 11 of 15 January 2002].
The general safety of products placed on the market is guaranteed by Community legislation, which ensures a consistent, high level of protection for the health and safety of consumers. The European Union (EU) has introduced a rapid alert system for products which pose a serious risk (RAPEX), and provisions for products to be withdrawn from the market if they are likely to put the health and safety of consumers at risk.

of the Commission of 7 December 1999 adopting measures prohibiting the placing on the market of toys and childcare articles intended to be placed in the mouth by children under three years of age, made of soft PVC containing one or more substances containing phthalates.
Toys intended to be placed in the mouth by children under three years of age and containing phthalates are prohibited throughout the European Union. Importing these products is also prohibited. Phthalates are toxic substances which may be found in soft PVC, a type of plastic which is also used in the manufacturing of toys.

Parliament resolution on the Commission’s Green Paper on Environmental Issues of PVC.
In this Resolution, Parliament criticises the Commission for failing to carry out an analysis of the life cycle of PVC products in order to make a comparison with alternative materials. Parliament calls on the Commission to present at the earliest opportunity a draft long-term horizontal strategy for the replacement of PVC. It proposes that the polluter pays principle be applied to PVC waste. It also calls for the necessary measures be taken to ensure the separate collection of PVC. Parliament calls on the Commission to propose banning the use of lead and cadmium in PVC. It suggests introducing a recycling system similar to that for junk automobiles and the compulsory labelling of all plastics.

Recycled plastic materials and articles

Recycled plastic materials and articles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Recycled plastic materials and articles

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Contamination and environmental factors

Recycled plastic materials and articles

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2008 of 27 March 2008 on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods and amending Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006.

Summary

This Regulation lays down specific measures for recycled plastic materials and articles, supplementing Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Scope

This Regulation covers recycled plastic materials and articles which may come partially or totally into contact with food.

This Regulation does not apply to recycled plastic materials and articles:

  • made with monomers and substances derived from chemical depolymerization of plastic materials and articles;
  • made from unused production offcuts or process scraps;
  • in which the recycled plastic is used behind a plastic functional barrier *.

The materials and articles covered by this Regulation are subject to Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 on plastic materials intended for food packaging.

Requirements for recycled plastic materials and articles

The recycled plastic used for the manufacture of materials and articles covered by this Regulation must be obtained from an authorised recycling process. The said process is to be managed using a quality assurance system which complies with the rules laid down in the Annex of Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 on good manufacturing practice for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Conditions for the authorisation of recycling processes

Authorisation may be granted if recycling processes comply with the following conditions:

  • the quality of plastic input must be characterised and controlled;
  • the plastic input must originate from plastic materials and articles that have been manufactured in accordance with Community legislation on plastic food contact materials and articles;
  • the recycling process must be able to guarantee that there can be no contamination or that it is reduced to a concentration that does not pose a risk to human health;
  • the conditions of use of recycled plastic must guarantee that the final materials and articles do not release into food components in a quantity likely to endanger human health or to bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or to bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

Applications for authorisation of recycling processes

Applications for authorisation for a recycling process are to be made to the competent authority of a Member State accompanied by a technical dossier containing the information described in the guidelines for the safety assessment of a recycling process prepared by the European Food Safety Authority.

The Member State sends the application to the Authority which is responsible for assessing whether the said process meets the above conditions. Following a transitory phase, the Authority will have a period of six months from receipt of the application to give its opinion.

The Commission shall take into account the opinion of the Authority and adopt a Decision that it will send to the applicant. In this Decision, it will grant or refuse authorisation of the recycling process.

Community register

The Commission shall maintain a register of authorised recycling processes. The register shall be made available to the public.

Official control

Recycling plants and converters shall be subject to official controls. These controls aim at verifying that the recycling processes correspond to the processes for which authorisation was granted and that the quality assurance system is in place.

The authorisation holder shall notify the competent authority in the Member State about the recycling or manufacturing site in which the authorised recycling process is being applied. Member States shall send this information to the Commission who will keep updated a register of recycling sites in the Community and third countries.

Labelling of recycled plastic materials and articles

Voluntary self-declaration of the recycled content in recycled plastic materials and articles shall follow the rules laid down in ISO 14021:1999 or equivalent.

Declaration of compliance and record keeping

In addition to the conditions laid down by Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, the declaration of compliance of recycled plastic materials and articles shall certify that the recycled plastic used comes from an authorised recycling process and shall bear the EC register number corresponding to the recycling process.

In addition to the conditions laid down by Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, the declaration of compliance for recycled plastic materials shall certify that:

  • the recycling process has been authorised. A precise indication of the EC register number for the process;
  • the plastic input, the recycling process and the recycled plastic meet the specifications for which the authorisation has been granted;
  • a quality assurance system is in place.
Key terms of the Act
  • Plastic functional barrier: a barrier composed of one or several layers of plastic material ensuring that the finished material or article does not release into food components in a quantity likely to:
    1. endanger human health, or
    2. bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or
    3. bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 282/2008

17.4.2008

OJ L 86 of 28.3.2008

Restriction of epoxy derivatives in food packaging

Restriction of epoxy derivatives in food packaging

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Restriction of epoxy derivatives in food packaging

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Contamination and environmental factors

Restriction of epoxy derivatives in food packaging

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1895/2005 of 18 November 2005 on the restriction of use of certain epoxy derivatives in materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Summary

Authorisation of BADGE

Following the opinion issued by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Commission permits the use of the substance known as BADGE * in materials and articles * used in packaging or other articles intended to come into contact with food, including active and intelligent packaging.

The specific migration limit for this substance is:

  • 9 mg/kg in food or food simulants;
  • 9 mg/6dm2 for containers with a capacity of less than 500 ml or more than 10 litres, but also for sheet and film.

(See also “Provisional arrangements” below.)

In addition, materials and articles containing BADGE must be accompanied by a written declaration stating that they comply with the rules. This compulsory declaration will be required as of 1 January 2007.

Prohibition of BFDGE *

and NOGE *

Two other substances used in manufacturing packaging or other items in contact with food have been prohibited: BFDGE and NOGE.

NOGE and BFDGE had been prohibited since 31 December 2004, in accordance with Directive 2002/16/EC, now repealed. The current Regulation maintains this ban, applicable as of 1 January 2005. However, the Regulation permits the exhaustion of existing stocks of these products (see “Provisional arrangements” below).

Exceptions for large containers

Large containers (capacity greater than 10 000 litres) may continue to use BADGE, NOGE and BFDGE in their special surface coatings without having to comply with limits for migration (or transfer of significant levels of these substances to the products in contact). The level of migration for this type of container is negligible, according to the Regulation.

Provisional arrangements

BADGE, NOGE and BFDGE placed on the market before 1 March 2003 may continue to be marketed, provided the date of filling appears on them.

Background

Materials and articles containing BADGE, BFDGE and NOGE may transfer significant levels of these substances to foodstuffs (migration), particularly when used as additives, which may pose a risk to human health.

The use and/or presence of BADGE had been prohibited as of 31 December 2005 by Directive 2002/16/EC, but Regulation (EC) No 1895/2005, which repeals it, once again permits the use of this group of substances. After analysing the toxicological data transmitted for this group of substances, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that they do not raise concerns about carcinogenicity and genotoxicity in vivo.

Key terms used in the act
BADGE: – 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane bis(2,3-epoxypropyl) ether and BADGE.H2O (CAS No = 076002-91-0) and BADGE.H2O (CAS No = 005581-32-8);
BFDGE: bis(hydroxyphenyl)methane bis(2,3-epoxypropyl) ethers;
NOGE: novolac glycidyl ether;
Materials and articles in contact with foodstuffs:
– materials and articles made of any type of plastics,
– materials and articles covered by surface coatings,
– adhesives.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1895/2005 01.01.2006 OJ L 302 of 19.11.2005

Related Acts


Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004

of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 October 2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food and repealing Directives 80/590/EEC and 89/109/EEC [Official Journal L 338 of 13.11.2004].

Council Directive 82/711/EEC

of 18 October 1982 laying down the basic rules necessary for testing migration of the constituents of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foodstuffs [Official Journal L 297 of 23.10.1982; corrigendum L 332 of 27.11.1982]