The European paper and board industry welcomes the European Parliament report by the rapporteur Christel Schaldemose MEP on implementation of the Framework Regulation on Food Contact Materials. In particular, the paper-based packaging value chain supports the strong call by the Parliament to develop a measure specific to the paper and board materials.
Paper and board is the most sustainable packaging material in Europe. In food application paper-based packaging is number one with 13.8 million tonnes annually.
A well-functioning internal market is key for the paper and board industry, its customers and consumers alike. Yet, until now, specific food contact measures have been developed for only three materials (plastics, ceramics and regenerated cellulose) as well as for active and intelligent packaging. In the absence of common EU rules diverging national measures are now seriously hampering the internal market. These inconsistencies have created legal uncertainty and risks for the entire value chain, and hinder consumers’ confidence in food safety.
The paper industry has always prioritised consumer safety and has set world-class standards for producing safe packaging materials. But it cannot replace the role of the legislator in setting a level playing field and European-wide levels for safety.
In recent years industry has heavily invested in scientific research and is conducting ambitious work on supporting future legal measure thereby extensively upgrading its guidelines for food contact material. We can build upon the latest scientific knowledge, industry state of art practices and European Food Safety Authority’s approach to ensure a high level of consumer protection across Europe.