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New rules for food packaging required

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) is calling for stricter rules with regard to food packaging. The association’s chairman, Klaus Mueller, says: “More effective laws and better controls are urgently needed to reduce these exposures to pollutants and better protect consumer health.”

What is he referring to?

“Phthalates, which are used as plasticizers in plastics, are banned in textiles, but are still allowed in drinking bottles. Apparently sustainable product alternatives like Coffee-to-go mug with bamboo release formaldehyde on contact with warm liquids. That has to change, “continued Müller.

And the demands of the vzbv were no accident. On October 14th, the EU Commission presented its new chemicals strategy. It is part of the major Green Deal project and is intended to make the EU’s chemicals policy more efficient and effective.

Afraid of new rules for food packaging?

At least that’s what you might think. Industry lobbying activities have been in full swing for months. New regulations should be avoided because the industry has always coped well with the old ones.

The saying “time is money” seems to be particularly effective here: regulations of substances that are difficult to grasp, such as hormonally active chemicals, are used Endocrine Disruptors , could delay the industrial sector. It also takes a long time for pollutants to be assessed and regulated. From the industry’s point of view, it was a gratifyingly long time.

Is time becoming a problem?

The EU Commission wanted to present its new chemicals policy as early as spring 2020. Internal disputes were made about their direction. The European Environment Bureau (eeb) in Brussels criticizes the attitude of the Directorate-General for Health. This sees no need for stricter regulations.

Ninja Reineke from Chemtrust Europe also notes: “If each chemical is evaluated individually, it takes far too long. The EU must finally move on to evaluating chemicals in groups. ”

What does that mean for the future?

Substances with similar properties and a related structure could in future be assessed jointly and, if necessary, banned. With around 23,000 pollutants that have so far been registered by companies with the EU chemicals agency Echta, that would be a real relief.

Reineke says that the European chemicals policy is actually based on the precautionary principle. But because the regulatory process took so long, chemicals cannot be identified until consumers and workers come into contact with them.

And what does that mean for you?

We know about the problem, that’s why we offer one in our online shop wide range of natural food packaging at. Take a look around there. And if you want more information, follow us on ours Social media channels and subscribe to our newsletter. We keep you up to date on all topics in the food producing industry.

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