New York, NY — PETRA, the trade association representing North America’s PET resin producers, is advocating that appropriate chemical, toxicological and performance testing be conducted on newly developed “biodegradable additives” to substantiate their food-contact safety and recyclability.
PET is used worldwide for food and beverage packaging because it is an inert and hygienic material that is fully recyclable. PETRA wants to ensure that the proven health safety and recyclability of PET are maintained when biodegradable additives are used in PET bottles.
Food Safety Must Be Assured.
PET has been studied for decades, and is cleared by health and regulatory agencies around the world for safe use in food and beverage packaging. PETRA believes that any additives designed to break down the polymer chains of PET should be reviewed, and FDA-recommended extraction protocols conducted and published, to confirm that they won’t contaminate or leach at unsafe levels into foods or beverages packaged in PET.
Recyclability Must be Maintained
PET is a highly recyclable material, backed by a well-established recycling industry and technology. More than 1 billion pounds of used PET bottles and containers are collected in the U.S. each year and recycled to make new food and beverage containers as well as a variety of other products such as carpet and clothing fibers, industrial strapping, engineering plastics and automotive parts.
To maintain the integrity and sustainability of the PET recycling stream, PETRA believes that full-scale testing and data analysis must be conducted to ensure that the addition of biodegradable agents to PET will not contaminate, compromise or weaken the performance or functionality of recycled PET products.