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A South Korean study published on June 25, 2021 in Food and Chemical Toxicology reported the results of overall and specific migration testing of various food contact plastic materials using food simulants. The data indicate that the minimal migration of evaluated substances from plastic food packaging and their corresponding dietary concentrations pose no significant human health or safety concerns.

The European Commission (EC) published its long-awaited Guidelines on single-use plastics, Commission notice 2021/C 216/01, in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) on June 7, 2021.

The Thai Ministry of Industry notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of five draft food-contact regulations on June 9, 2021. The draft regulations, which establish standards for various plastic utensils and plastic bags for foods, are described below.

Washington State has enacted a law that establishes minimum recycled content requirements for certain plastic products and prohibits the sale and distribution of certain expanded polystyrene products.  The law will also limit the distribution of single-use plastic products by food service establishments. In addition, the law, which becomes effective on July 17, 2021, establishes registration and reporting requirements for manufacturers of certain plastic products.

The Australian Government has released a plan to reduce plastic waste. Currently, 2.5 million metric tons of plastic waste is generated in Australia each year, with 13% of that recovered.

Virginia has enacted a ban on polystyrene food service containers, which will be implemented in two phases, and has committed to discontinuing most single-use plastics by state agencies, colleges, and universities.

China State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) requested comments on two Voluntary National Standards concerning biodegradable materials.

The Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on May 11, 2021, concerning four draft food contact regulations. The draft technical regulations are described below.

Keller & Heckman Partner Rachel Bond will be one of the speakers at Circular Polyolefins Americas. The title of her presentation is, “Regulatory Update on Recycled Plastics for Food Contact in U.S. and Latin America.”

Targets set by brand owners and regulators are contributing to a growing demand for recyclates and U.S. lawmakers are increasingly interested in shifting more of recycling costs to packaging producers and brand owners. Yet, supply to meet established targets remains limited, especially for recycled resins to be utilized in food and beverage packaging.

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) updated its administrative guidance to implement new provisions required by the Transparency Regulation (EU) 2019/1381 and are applicable both to applications for new authorizations and modifications of existing authorizations.  (See the PackagingLaw.com article, New EU Transparency Regulation to Apply from March 27, 2021, for more information on this regulation.)