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Tracing contaminants in polymeric kitchen utensils - Evidence of WEEE relevant substances in polymeric food contact articles (FCAs)

Jan Knoop , Marion Egelkraut-Holtus, Shimadzu Europa GmbH

Franky Puype, Institute for Testing and Certification, Zlin, Tschechische Republik


The amount of polymeric waste is increasing steadily, due for example to shorter life cycles of many technical consumer products. This is why recycling of polymeric/plastic waste becomes more and more important. This process has to be carried out in a secure way, otherwise hazardous substances or materials can harm the environment or humans. This is why recycling of polymeric substances has been regulated, mostly depending on the subsequent use. Accordingly, Food Contact Articles (FCAs) are treated in a special way.

Polymeric FCAs are regulated within the European Union by the European Commission Regulation 10/2011. It describes an overall migration test using de fined food simulants measuring the amount of non-volatile substances released from a material or FCA. Using olive oil, an overall migration test evaluates the inertness of the FCAs releasing not more than 10 mg of constituents per 1 dm2 as the maximum permitted limit. These migrating non-volatile substances may be monomers, starting substances, oligomers, colorants, additives or surface additives that are basic constituents of the polymeric FCA. If they migrate into food, they cause an unacceptable change. The regulation also covers the so-called 'positive list' of authorized monomers, other starting substances, macromolecules, additives and polymer aids.

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