Our experts will help you understand and test against safety regulations for recycled materials used in packaging

  • A Smithers expert in the laboratory testing food contact samplesWe carry out all work according to EU or FDA protocols.
  • Projects normally involve dosing virgin material with chemical surrogates and collecting the treated material in various points in the cleaning process.
  • Quantitative trace analysis of the surrogates in the cleaned material is then conducted and, if necessary, migration tests performed to establish the effectiveness of the process.

Support with EU Regulations

In the EU, recycling plastics for food contact applications is covered by regulation (EU) 2022/1616. Part of compliance with this involves only using approved post-consumer recycling (PCR) processes. To approve a PCR process, it is necessary to perform PCR testing and to submit a technical dossier to EFSA.

Part of this dossier involves determination of the decontamination efficiency of the recycling processes, often referred to as 'challenge testing' since it involves challenging the process with a plastic deliberately contaminated with surrogate contaminates.

Smithers can assist you with this process.

Support with USA Regulations

In the USA, recycled materials are not covered by specific FDA Regulations, but need to comply with the relevant requirements of Chapter 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

We help by using a challenge test in a similar fashion to that for the EU Regulations (although differing in detail), allowing you to show that a post-consumer recycling process is screened, checked and risk-assessed.

Screening Tests

The screening tests aim to identify unknowns and provide a semi-quantitative analysis so that concentrations to food can be estimated by migration modelling. This approach has been applied to recycled plastics and irradiated plastics to good effect. 

We have developed a number of simple screening tests for evaluating the safety credentials of Food Contact materials, including recycled materials or materials containing non-intentionally added substances (NIAS).

Find out more about our food contact testing and support services, as well as our support for assessing personal care products.

Download a brochure for more information:

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