Evaluation of Current Framework for Food Contact Legislation
FPE attended a Stakeholder Workshop held on September 24th. There were over 100 participants with representatives of NGOs, FCM laboratories, Non-EU countries and EFSA as well as the Commission and industry. The evaluation will assess the extent to which the current legislative framework is fit for purpose and delivers as expected. It will only look backwards and will not assess future legislative options.
Consultants (Ecorys) have been hired and they will conduct targeted interviews and focus group meetings in the period to April 2019. FPE and EAFA have registered their interest in being involved in this process. A 12 week public consultation will also be held. After analysis, the results and conclusions will feed into a Staff Working Document. The evaluation is foreseen to be completed in early 2020.
For further detail, see the Commission’s webpage.
Printed Food Contact Materials
In September, representatives from the Packaging Inks Joint Industry Task Force met with the Commission at senior level to press for a European measure on printed food contact materials (FCM). The Commission made it clear that they wanted to give priority to the evaluation of FCM legislation and hence did not foresee specific action under the present college.
It is still uncertain how Germany will react to such a delay.
Plastics Recycling Regulation
The Commission is proposing major amendments to Regulation 282/2008. Up to now, the re-processing of in-house scrap and redundant stock was out of scope. This is planned to change and FPE’s comments on the proposals concentrated on ensuring that the amended Regulation does not impose any barriers on what we do now. We have also asked that there should be no restrictions on the feedstock for chemical recycling – potentially a key technique for flexibles.
The draft amendment was discussed in September at a meeting of the Commission’s working group on FCM. Since then, we have not been aware of any progress; indeed, we understand that the process may have been paused for a while.
Authorisation of Chromium Trioxide
Chromium Trioxide is essential in the production of the chrome plated cylinders used in the gravure printing process. However, it is also classified as carcinogenic and hence has been added to Annex XIV of the REACH Regulation. This means that any uses of the substance must first be authorised. Following recommendations by ECHA, the Commission has now published a draft Decision which would authorise its use in “functional chrome plating”, including that of gravure cylinders, until September 2024. A vote on this proposal should take place in February.