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European Food Safety Authority gives thumbs-up to food safety of local PET recycling process.

| Innovation and technology

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids has issued scientific opinion on the safety of the “ExtruPET” recycling process, which is based on Starlinger IV+® technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials.

‘The EFSA Panel concluded that the recycled PET, obtained from this process, intended to be used up to 100 % for the manufacture of materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long-term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill, is not considered of safety concern’ reports Chandru Wadhwani, Joint Managing Director of Extrupet.  

The “ExtruPET” recycling process is in operation at Extrupet’s 3000m2 PhoenixPET Bottle-2-Bottle recycling plant in Wadeville. Opened earlier this year, by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, the plant is the first on the continent to use a Coca-Cola approved technology for carbonated soft drink bottles thus enabling the closure of the loop in the biggest sector in the beverage market.  

Extrupet were originally requested by Woolworths, to get a scientific opinion from EFSA earlier this year and Kiril Dimitrov, of Woolworths Central Food Technology lauds the achievement saying ‘We have a World class operation to be proud of in South Africa, delivering a compliant product to the highest level, managed by one of the best food safety systems in the world and lead by a great and dedicated team.’ .  

This sentiment is echoed by Cheri Scholtz, CEO of PETCO who adds that the plant will supply an additional 14 000 tonnes of PET resin per year to the PET packaging industry. It will eventually divert an additional 22 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles from landfills each year, reducing  

resource consumption, creating jobs and assisting industry in meeting PETCO’s target of a 50% recycling rate for 2015.  

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