Plastics Industry Association publishes guidance for recycled plastic food packaging

The guidance document was developed over a two-year process that combined association member companies’ insight with the association’s regulatory expertise.

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The Plastics Industry Association has announced industry guidance designed to ensure packaging made with postconsumer resin meets and exceeds compliance requirements with several U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations related to food-contact materials (FCM). The guidance document was developed over a two-year process that combined association member companies’ industry insight with the association’s regulatory expertise. 

“As recyclers know, federal requirements for post-consumer recycled plastics usage in food-contact applications can be extremely complex,” says George Southworth, senior director of the Plastics Industry Association Processors and Brand Owners Advisory Group. “This guidance document is the result of a collaborative effort with our valued members and will provide clarity in understanding and writing compliance statements for recycled material in food packaging.”

“We are a company that values both community citizenship and innovations that improve customer and consumer experiences, so we’ve been actively advocating for expanding access to high-quality recycled plastics,” says Phil Berrier, Product Safety & Compliance and Analytical Services leader at Printpack, Inc., Atlanta. “The guidance we created will further open supply chain collaboration for food-safe recycled materials so food packaging converters can keep up with downstream demand and brand owners can confidently promote their products.”

Key elements of the guidance document address:

  • food contact status;
  • microbiological contamination;  
  • kosher and halal compliance; and
  • nanotechnology.

The guidance document is a product of the Washington-based association’s Food, Drug and Cosmetic Packaging Materials Committee (FDCPMC). This public policy committee is comprised of company representatives from all segments of the plastics industry, working to harmonize regulatory policy that also supports economic growth and global trade in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors.