Return to inventory: Submissions on Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Plastics for Food-Contact Articles
See also Recycled Plastics in Food Packaging
August 28, 2001
Evergreen Partnering Group Incorporated
34 Westward Circle
North Reading, MA 01864
Dear Mr. Schneider:
This responds to your inquiry of June 21, 2001 requesting a letter of “non-objection” (NOL) for the use of recycled polystyrene resin in the manufacture of food-contact articles. Your letter refers to a number of telephone conversations with Dr. Edward Machuga of the FDA in which you stated that the recycling process described in your submission, with the exception of some minor changes, has already been evaluated by FDA, and that an NOL on the process was issued to Nova Chemical Incorporated (formerly Novacor Chemical Incorporated) on June 30, 1993. You also indicate that Evergreen Partnering Group has obtained a license from Nova Chemical to use their recycling process to manufacture post-consumer recycled (PCR) polystyrene resin destined for food-contact applications. Your company would now also like an NOL for the use of your recycled polystyrene resin for essentially the same conditions of use that were permitted in Nova’s earlier letter.
We previously concluded in our letter to Nova dated June 30, 1993, that post-consumer recycled (PCR) polystyrene resin produced by their company’s process would be acceptable for use in making trays, plates, cutlery, cups, containers, and lids for use in fast-food and similar restaurants provided that the PCR resin was previously used for food-contact applications and there is strict source control. We understand that Evergreen Partnering Group’s recycling process will also represent strict source control in that only food-contact articles manufactured with polystyrene and used by cafeterias in institutions such as colleges, schools, hospitals, and jails will be used to manufacture the PCR polystyrene resin. We understand that these sources will not only supply the feedstock but will also re-purchase the food-contact articles made from the PCR polystyrene resins, thus creating a safe, closed loop system. As was the case with Nova’s recycling process, Evergreen Partnering Group’s process will involve blending the PCR polystyrene resin with virgin polystyrene complying with 21 CFR 177.1640 Polystyrene and rubber-modified polystyrene before being used to manufacture food-contact articles.
We have no reason, at this time, to change the opinion expressed in our June 30, 1993, letter to Nova Chemical and do not regard the changes you have made to their process as ones that would result in a significantly different process. Therefore, the PCR polystyrene resin that is collected, sorted and processed in the manner described in your letter of June 21, 2001, is suitable for the uses described above.
If you have any further questions concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Edward Machuga, Ph.D.
Division of Food Contact Substance Notification Review, HFS-215
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition