The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved Phoenix Technologies International’s recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) process based on the company’s extra small particle size (ESPS) technology.
Bowling Green, Ohio-based Phoenix, a member of Plastic Technologies Inc., Holland, Ohio, produces recycled PET resin pellets from postconsumer recycled plastic flake. The majority of the 80 million pounds of recycled PET Phoenix produces per year is used in packaging applications.
EFSA’s Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids is responsible for the recycling process safety assessment. The panel concluded that “the recycled PET obtained from the process Phoenix ESPS intended to be used at up to 100 percent for the manufacture of materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long term storage at room temperature, with or without hot-fill. is not considered of safety concern.”
Lori Carson, director of commercial operations for Phoenix, says, “This certification gives them an additional comfort level that recycled PET produced via this process can be used as an ‘up to’ 100 percent replacement for virgin PET without any safety issues.”
Phoenix’s recycling process has been allocated the EU register No RECYC035. Additionally, the company previously has been issued ‘letters of no objection’ for its recycled PET small particle process by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and Health Canada.
Carson adds that more multicontinent brand owners are looking to incorporate recycled-content plastics in their food-contact packaging. The company’s recycled PET technology is used to produce a variety of packaging containers and bottles for food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, shampoos, soaps and detergents. Its resins are also used in nonpackaging applications, such as strapping, carpeting and others.
With EFSA’s approval, companies using Phoenix’s recycled PET will be able to ship products to customers in the United States and in European Union countries. Additionally, Phoenix will have the flexibility to ship its recycled PET to brand owners in Europe, where it can be used to make packaging products.