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On July 20, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) published draft Lists of Existing Substances with proposed revisions to Appended Table 1 of MHLW Notification No. 370, the Positive List (PL) of substances used in synthetic resins for utensils, containers and packaging (UCP). The draft Lists can be accessed from MHLW’s website.

The European Food Safety Authority issued a scientific opinion that designates salicylic acid (FCM 121); styrene (FCM 193); and lauric acid, vinyl ester (FCM 436) as high priority candidates for re-evaluation.  The scientific opinion was issued in response to a request from the European Commission (EC) to review the substances that are not assigned a specific migration limit (SML) in the Plastics Regulation, (EU) No 10/2011. These substances were covered by the generic SML of 60 mg/kg of food but that SML was removed under Regulation (EU) 2016/1416.

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) — in conjunction with the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) and the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) — developed guidelines on recycled content in plastic packaging. The guidelines, titled, Recycled Content Used In Plastic Packaging Applications, were designed for companies that intend to use recycled plastic content in food, drink, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical packaging, as well as for policymakers.

The UK government implemented a tax on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content. The tax, which is scheduled to take effect in April 2022, is intended to encourage the use of recycled plastic and increase demand for recycled plastic. Additional information on the tax is available here

The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering updating the country’s regulations on plastic food contact materials to allow for the use of recycled plastic in contact with food. As part of that review, the Thai FDA has requested information on chemicals used in the manufacture of certain plastic food-contact materials (FCMs). It appears that the Thai FDA is considering revising Ministry of Health Notification No. 295 (2005) on plastic food containers to permit the use of these recycled resins.

Turkey’s regulations on plastic food-contact substances and materials were recently updated to align with the European Union’s Plastics Regulation, (EU) No. 10/2011. The new regulations were published in the Official Gazette, Issue 30989, on December 25, 2019, by Turkey’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 

On December 4, 2019, Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) published Resolução Da Directoria Colegiada (RDC) No. 326, de 3 de Dezembro de 2019 (RDC 326/2019), the Technical Regulation on the positive list of additives for the preparation of plastic materials and polymeric coatings intended to contact food.