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EU Enforcement Plan Addresses Unauthorized Use of Bamboo Additive in FCMs

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The European Commission (EC), EU Member States, and the EU Food Fraud Network agreed on May 6, 2021 to launch an Enforcement Action Plan concerning plastic food-contact materials (FCMs) containing bamboo “powder” The use of bamboo in plastic FCMs is not authorized in the EU since bamboo is not on the positive list of authorized substances in the Plastics Regulation, (EU) 10/2011. In addition, bamboo-containing plastics have been associated with the leaching of high amounts of melamine and formaldehyde.

Numerous notifications concerning the unauthorized use of bamboo additives as a filler in plastic FCMs and mislabeling of products as 100% bamboo have been received through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and the Administrative Assistance and Cooperation System related to FCMs. Despite these notifications, the illegal sale of these products continues. Therefore, the Enforcement Action Plan on plastic FCMs made of or containing bamboo was launched.

The objective of the Enforcement Action Plan is to ensure that:

  • Plastic products containing such illegal plant-based additives are rejected at the borders and do not enter the EU market
  • Tax duties for plastic products that were wrongly declared are recovered
  • Business operators are reminded about the illegality of these products by Member States’ enforcement and competent authorities, with assistance from the EC
  • Consumers are made aware of the issue, including health risks