22 June 2021
M2A Breaking News – June 2021
M2A Breaking News is the Mori 2A section dedicated to the latest international news in the Ho.Re.Ca. sector: a selection of news dedicated to the most important materials, regulations and news in the sector. In this article we will talk about the results of the analyzes carried out by the BEUC on a sample of plant-based packaging and the approval in the State of Washington (U.S.A.) of a new global law on plastics.
Europe: analysis finds pesticides, PFAS in plant-based packaging
EU consumer groups find chemicals of concern above recommended limits in single-use tableware made of molded plant fiber or palm leaf, and paper straws. Of 57 sampled items, 53% have chemical concentrations above recommended limits, including 100% of molded plant-fiber plates and bowls; per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) present in 66% of articles, pesticide residues in 28%.
The European Consumer Organization (BEUC) released findings from a study of chemical contamination in 57 pieces of single-use plant-based tableware from four European countries. Consumer groups from the four countries purchased bowls and plates made of molded natural fibers or palm leaves as well as paper straws and sent the packaging to a lab to test for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chloropropanols (a chemical group with carcinogenic properties), and pesticide residues.
Thirty of the plant-based food packaging articles (53%) contained at least one of the analyzed chemicals in concentrations above German and Danish limits, while another 12 articles (21%) contained chemicals near recommended limits. Every dish made from molded plant-fiber contained either PFAS or chloropropanols above the German/Danish limit.
With the publication of this study, the BEUC believes that the EU must create chemical regulations for non-plastic single-use food packaging.
North America – Washington state passes comprehensive plastics legislation
Governor for US state of Washington signs Senate Bill 5022; bans expanded polystyrene foam takeaway containers by June 2024; adds minimum recycled content requirement to many plastic containers and trash bags; no longer requires triangular arrow recycle symbol on hard plastic products.
The Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State signed Senate Bill 5022 into law, making Washington one of the first US states to ban polystyrene foam food containers, the first to ban foam coolers, and the first to require customers to request any single-use plastic products before a restaurant can supply them.
The ban on expanded polystyrene comes into effect June 1, 2024, and all single-use service wares such as straws, utensils, condiment packets, and lids can only be supplied upon customer request beginning January 1, 2022.
SB 5022 also requires minimum recycled plastic content in many food and household product packaging. Additionally, to help simplify the recycling process, the State is waiving requirements that all rigid plasticm products show the triangular “recycling symbol” because not all plastics are recyclable in standard municipal recycling, which leads to consumer confusion.
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