Share

How is PVC Packaging Material Regulated in Europe?

June 6, 2013
Question 

Is there currently a ban on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packaging material in the European Community? What is an appropriate replacement for polyvinyl chloride (PVC)?

Answer 

We are not aware of an existing ban or phaseout timetable for PVC used in packaging in the European Union (EU) or any Member State. With respect to food packaging, the vinyl chloride monomer is on the list of permitted substances in the Plastics Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, which clears plastic articles intended to come into contact with food. The use of the monomer is subject to a non-detect limit of 10 ppb and residual level limit of 1 mg/kg in the finished article. The Plastics Regulation also specifies methods for testing migration and residual content of vinyl chloride monomer. When used in articles that are entirely plastic, the finished article will also be required to meet the overall migration limit of 10 mg per square decimeter (or 60 mg/kg for food packaging intended for infants and young children).

Concerning non-food packaging applications, the food-contact legislation is used as a reference guide in the safety assessment of packaging for medicinal products and cosmetics.

As we are a law firm, we do not qualify to comment on an appropriate replacement for PVC in any particular application, and to point out that none is needed as these resins may legally be used in Europe.