Recap 2023

Recap on the industry and on IBE-BVI!


About the industry:


2023 has been an intense year for the packaging industry in terms of regulations and actions in the fields of BPA and PFAS.

Starting with the proposal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to restrict approximately 10,000 different PFAS containing at least one fully fluorinated methyl (CF3-) or methylene (-CF2-) carbon atom (without any H/Cl/Br/I attached to it).

On April 2023 the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) published its scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of the risks to public health related to the presence of BPA (bisphenol A) in foodstuffs. A danger that has been confirmed also by a EEA (European Environment Agency) study, which, thanks to a biomonitoring study made in 11 countries, found out that up to 100% were likely to be exposed to danger caused by BPA.

Since then, BPA has been mattering of discussion, bringing the European Commission to announce new measures (not yet presented), aiming to prohibit the intentional use of BPA in all food contact plastics.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) has been particularly important in the last year. In April 2023, a first important step has been made thanks to the transposition of the Single Use Plastic Directive. This action obliges companies who place certain plastic products in the EU market to bear the costs of cleaning up and processing the litter from their packaging as well as the costs of the awareness raising measures for those products.

The rise of EPR laws will lead, in the early development, to more dialogue with the packaging value chain, to improvement and it will increase the chances of having packaging solution which can fit better in the market and can meet the need of designers and recyclers.

EPR laws has been adopted across Europe, five provinces of Canada, and four states in the US: California, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon, while the UK delayed it until October 2025.

However, what needs to be clearer in the EPR legislation development is the way to handle hard-to-recycle materials and the how to invest in the composting infrastructure.

Food Contact Materials has been focusing on many actions in 2023, as its importance is constantly growing.
To start, the European Commission released in July 2023 a new regulation (EU/2023/1442), which establishes important changes to the list of authorized substances which are intended to come in contact with food, the so called, “positive list”.

Not only in Europe there has been a particular focus on FCM. China, for example, approved 5 more new materials, which comprehend three food contact materials and two new resins.

The fourth edition of the set of test conditions to ensure comparability of measurement results reported in the frame of the implementation of official controls for kitchenware articles in contact with foodstuffs came out, giving important replacements in the guidelines for articles in contact with foodstuffs.

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), a matter of discussion for some years, represented an important key step in its life.
In November 2023, the regulation has been approved by the European Parliament. Now, the next step is the Council to adopt the Parliaments position, in which case the legislative act is adopted.

About IBE-BVI:

New employees: 

IBE-BVI welcomed new employees during 2023. The team grows as well as the efforts and quality we put into our work. The new personnel brought international vibes and dynamic backgrounds.

Two of them strengthen the Food Contact Materials Department, one the Materials, Transport and Climate simulations department, and one person is working at the further development of our communication. We are happy to welcome all these new colleagues. Together with the staff they will help the Institute to achieve many goals in the following years!

2023 represented an important year in terms of innovation for our laboratories. In order to expand their offer in permeability testing, which already comprehended a MOCON analyzer for OTR, the Food Contact Material Department (FCM) added to its list of equipment, a MOCON Permatran-W 3/34, which will allow to offer sensitive test methods for both oxygen and water vapor transmission rate and enable  the WVTR measurement of small packages.

The Materials, Transport, and Climate simulations department added a new a new climate chamber in the catalogue of our equipment, the “Weiss Technik C-1000 Serie 70”, to expose the products from a minimum of -40°C to a maximum of 150°C. From shelf-life studies (ASTM F1980) to climatic studies (ISO 2233) and the preconditioning for transport simulations (ASTM D4169 or ISTA-series), this climate chamber makes sure that this is possible and that the needs of our customers can be fulfilled completely.

Post on 18/12/2023

Federico Bassotto March 1, 2024
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