Latest international Ho.Re.Ca. news for October

21 October 2021

M2A Breaking News – October 2021

Spain plans ban of plastic packaging for fruits and vegetables

Following France’s example, Spain’s Ministry for Ecological Transition is drafting a decree to ban the sale of produce wrapped in plastic by 2023; wants to discourage sales of drinks in single-use plastic bottles by encouraging the installation of drinking fountains and bottle reuse systems

The Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition is drafting a decree that will ban grocers from selling produce that weighs less than 1.5 kg in plastic packaging by 2023. The exact list of which products must comply with the new ordinance will be developed by Spain’s Food Safety and Nutrition Agency. In addition to removing plastic from fruit and vegetable sales, the Ministry also wants to reduce 50% sales of drinks in plastic bottles by 2030 through the installation of drinking fountains and the development of reuse systems.

The Spanish decree is based heavily on a piece of legislation France passed as part of the country’s single-use plastics ban. Both Spanish and French bans make exceptions for foods at risk of deteriorating when sold loose. France’s ban will go into effect beginning January 2022. Spain’s decree is still in development, but ministerial sources does not report if other aspects of single-use plastic packaging in grocery stores will be affected. Produce stickers, for example, are included in the French ban unless they are made of paper or another compostable material.

California legislature passes bill targeting Pfas in food packaging and cookware

The bill prohibits the sale of plant fibres-based food packaging that contains PFAS that has been intentionally added to have a functional or technical in the product, or is present in the product at or above 100 parts per million

The California legislature passed AB 1200, known as the California Safer Food Packaging Cookware Act of 2021, on September 7, 2021, and was enrolled and presented to the governor for signature on September 13, 2021. The bill bans the use of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging composed in substantial part of paper, paperboard, or other materials derived from plant fibres. It also requires warning labels on cookware to which PFAS was intentionally added. Similar to other state laws on PFAS in food packaging, the California bill defines PFAS as “fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.”

It also requires, as of January 1, 2024, manufacturers of cookware that contains any chemical on the state’s Green Chemistry list of chemicals of concern to list the presence of those chemicals on the product label, and to post this information on the internet, along with a link to the authoritative lists for the relevant substances.

Finally, it prohibits cookware manufacturers from claiming that cookware is free of any specific chemical on the list if the chemical belongs to the same chemical group or class of chemicals that are listed, effective January 1, 2023.