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Your regular update for technical and industry information

Your regular update for technical and industry information

UK: Plastic utensils containing bamboo or similar materials are no longer allowed in commerce

JUNE 2023 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

On 6 June 2023, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) launched a consultation1 on plastic food contact materials and articles containing bamboo and other plant-based materials. Agencies are currently investigating the safety and stability of these materials being placed on the Great Britain (GB) market.

The deadline for submitting evidence is 12 December 2023. A summary of responses will be published within three months of the consultation ends.

These materials are often described as "plastic composites", "bamboo composites" or similar. Bamboo and other plant-based materials, such as rice husks, wheat straw and hemp, have not been fully assessed and authorised in plastics. 

The FSA and FSS are calling for evidence on the following:
The composition of plastic food contact materials that contain bamboo and other plant-based materials;
The conditions under which these materials are used;
The migration of substances from these materials into food;
The manufacturing process and safety assessment of these products.

Meanwhile, consumers are being advised not to use products containing these materials. Businesses should not sell plastic food contact materials that contain bamboo and other plant-based materials until a full study of potential health risks is completed. 

European Commission Food Contact Material legislation is applicable in Northern Ireland2. Plastic food contact materials containing bamboo fibre and other bamboo materials must not be placed on the market in Northern Ireland as they are not in compliance. Only authorised additives in Annex I of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011 can be used in a plastic food contact material and placed on the market in the EU and Northern Ireland.

 

[1] Consultation portal

[2] EU: Market Withdrawal of Harmful Food Contact Bamboo Melamine Plastics, March 2021


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TÜV SÜD has dedicated experts to assist you in the development of consumer products and meeting applicable regulations. Through a global network of laboratories, TÜV SÜD offers a wide range of services that includes chemical tests, physical or mechanical tests as well as inspections to ensure the compliance of your products in target markets. 

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