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New tests by BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, claim to show that food packaging made of coloured paper and cardboard may contain and release chemicals originating from the inks used for printing.
The claims come amid an ongoing shift from plastic to paper packaging for a range of products.
Paper is the second most used food packaging material after plastics and used for items like coffee cups and straws. But, unlike plastics, there are no EU rules governing paper’s use as a “food contact” material.
With single-use plastics set to be banned in the EU from 2021, the BEUC tests have raised safety concerns over some alternatives like paper. The group says the results show the need for EU-wide laws regulating the use and safety of all paper and cardboard food packaging.
In the tests, BEUC analysed 76 samples of printed [url=http://www.pulpmouldmachine.com/pulp-molded-packaging/paper-food-container/]paper food containe[/url]r or board food packaging, such as coffee cups, paper straws, printed napkins and grocery products.
BEUC said the findings show that more than one in six samples contained primary aromatic amines, some of which are suspected to cause cancer. Nine samples contained these chemicals above the limit set in the EU Plastic Regulation.
Almost all 76 samples contained UV filters. Some UV filters are suspected to cause cancer or disrupt the hormone system. Further analysis of 21 samples showed that UV filters migrate into food above the recommended levels in six products, including a children’s box of raisins.
The safety of most of the substances found to migrate into food has not been evaluated by the EU food safety watchdog, EFSA.
Reacting to the findings, Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC, told this website, “Most consumers naturally assume that the material in direct contact with their food is free of harmful chemicals but that is sadly not the case.”
Why is industrial packaging important?
Packaging is everywhere. It’s an important component of the consumer-led lives we lead. Whenever we make a purchase online or in the shops, our products are contained in some form of packaging.
But while we are all too familiar with packaging in supermarkets, industrial packaging is often overlooked – and it’s one of the most important links in the supply chain.
Industrial packaging includes everything from blue plastic drums to cardboard boxes, all of which help products to arrive safely and in perfect condition. In this article, we take a look at why industrial packaging is so important.
WHAT IS INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING?
To understand why industrial packaging is so important, you first need to understand what it is.
The goal of industrial packaging is to protect industrial goods while they are being stored or transported. It’s often heavy-duty and versatile, and is designed to store large quantities of goods, from hazardous waste to foodstuff. Industrial packaging is different from the commercial packaging you find in shops in terms of scale and materials used.