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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 article, New EU Transparency Regulation to Apply from March 27, 2021, for more information on this regulation.)

The plastics industry has expressed concern over certain provision in legislation aimed to reduce plastic waste that was introduced by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), S.984, and  by U.S.

The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) published an assessment  of the impact of IARC Monograph Vol. 121 on the safety of styrene for use in plastic food contact materials (FCMs). In September 2019, IARC updated its evaluation of styrene to classify the substance as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A).

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has published a request for nominations for “existing substances” be included on the Positive List (PL) of “synthetic resins” for food-contact materials (FCMs) with corresponding submission forms. “Existing substances” include those marketed or used for food-contact utensils, containers and packages (UCP) in Japan prior to the effective date for the PL (i.e., June 1, 2020).  The deadline for filing such nominations is October 30, 2020.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Standardization Organization (GSO) has requested comments on a Draft Standard on Polyethylene Bags For Food Packaging Applications, GSO 1193/2020, that will replace GSO 1194/2002, “Methods of Testing Polyethylene Bags for Food Packaging Applications.”

The China National Light Industry Council (CNLIC) published the Guidance on Classification and Labeling of Degradable Plastic Products on September 8, 2020. This industrial association’s Guidance is in response to the Notice on Further Enhancing Plastic Pollution Control in January 2020. (For more information on that Notice, see the article, China Continues Efforts to Ban and Limit Use of Plastic Products.)

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) published a Notice, titled, Further Strengthening Plastic Pollution Control in Business Fields, on August 31. The Notice stipulates that local authorities shall facilitate the establishment of a centralized purchase and sale system for shopping bags in grocery markets.

The 15th amendment to the Plastics Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2020/1245) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on September 3, 2020. The 15th amendment adds new substances to the positive list in Annex I, in addition to introducing several substantive changes to the Plastics Regulation. Some of the significant changes are listed below.