The importance of food safety in packaging remains paramount for consumers. At the same time, the sustainability of packaging is becoming ever more relevant as a factor in the purchasing decision. Legislators are increasingly acting on these demands, introducing relevant regulation. A few examples: starting January 2022, France is likely to ban the usage of mineral oils in packaging all together, in its ‘Loi relative à la lute contre le gaspillage et pour une économie circulaire’ (AGEC). Meanwhile, Germany is working on new stricter threshold guideline for mineral oil when it comes to the reuse of recycling paper for food contact applications.
For those working in the packaging value chain, sustainability and food safety cannot be viewed independently. One cannot be compromised on for the sake of the other. Yet, changes made for one purpose may very well have implications for the other: new, more sustainably sourced materials can have different food protection properties, for example. This is a complex challenge that makes it necessary for the entire packaging value chain to work together. The industry needs to develop innovative solutions that help to align sustainability and food safety requirements in packaging with the focus of upcoming regulations. As a leading global manufacturer for adhesive solutions, Henkel is committed to share its knowledge about these various dimensions with its partners, customers and suppliers via webinars as well as white papers. Henkel’s goal is to catalyze these developments within the industry and, consequently, in society.
“This year we will see very far-reaching changes for our customers, with strong implications for the entire packaging industry,” comments Dr. Monika Tönnießen, Head of Food Safety Compliance - Global Food Safety, Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs at Henkel. Tönnießen explains: “Among these changes the final implementation of the 15th Amendment to the European Plastics Regulation is of particular importance. This regulation further specifies the permitted level of certain potentially migratable substances like primary aromatic amines (PAA) in food significantly.”
The legislation includes a two-year transition period for materials that comply with the old legislation and were placed on the market before 23rd March 2021 allowing for the exhaustion of existing stocks. The transition is facilitated by more elaborate testing methods such as chromatographic techniques which will be required for every converter to prove harmlessness. “As our teams, especially in toxicology and analytics, anticipated such changes, we are able to offer our customers active support and state-of-the-art testing capacities for these substances of concern,” says Dr. André Weiss, Manager Instrumental Analytics, Food Safety, Henkel Corporate Scientific Services. “Furthermore, we can provide them with even deeper insights in the form of our newly revised white papers on related topics and our constantly updated Food Contact Statements,” Dr. Monika Tönnießen concludes.
Building on high demand for these formats in the recent years, Henkel’s upcoming series of webinars will focus particularly on the subject of sustainability and share the company’s expertise in this area. The 2021 webinars will therefore bring together information on subjects that have already changed the packaging industry over recent years: latest developments in the field of mineral oil components, with insights on regularity environments and a special focus on sustainability, for example.
The webinar series will be accessible on Henkel’s recently-launched online platform Henkel Adhesives Forum: June 16, 2021: “Single use plastics in the EU – From regulation to implementation and impacts”. June 23, 2021: “From plastic to paper straws – Challenges & Solutions”. September 15, 2021: “Recycled materials in food contact – Regulations and current status in Europe and North America”. September 23, 2021 “Migration analytics basics - Adhesives in food packaging”. October 5, 2021 “Mineral oil components in food packaging - What you need to know about adhesives”. November 3, 2021 “Updates of global legislation for adhesives in food contact”.
With its food contact statements, Henkel is providing its customers with a further valuable tool: They include in-depth insights into possible presence of substances of concern such as metals or potentially genotoxic substances as well as PAA. The necessary testing to identify these critical substances is executed by in-house experts at the Henkel’s analytical department and gives customers the confidence and insights needed to prove along the value chain that the produced food packaging is compliant with latest regulations. The documents are constantly kept up to date to ensure they provide accurate information. In addition, Henkel’s expert group is also providing updated white papers. These provide readers a holistic overview of the most important topics in food safe packaging. The white papers cover topics such as primary aromatic amines, mineral oil components in food packaging or food contact legislation with focus on the European Union. Those seeking to learn more can see the webinar calendar here www.be-more-sustainable.com/henkel-adhesives-forum