Paper and cardboard have a long and succesful journey in safe food protection and within the food industry, in a wide rank of applications. These uses include all those corresponding to direct contact, such as tea bags, baking paper and filters, as well as packages such as butter wrappers, sugar bags, boxes for dry and frozen food. Must be considered in addition, the range of uses that paper and cardboard have in transport and in distribution packaging.
The story of the paper and cardboard sector is also long concerning the protection of human health, the interest of consumers through the provision of safe and effective materials for the protection of food products. For a long period of time the sector has cooperated with governments and regulatory institutions to ensure adequate mesures for consumer protection.
Also, the paper industry -both manufacturers and converters- has control over recovered paper and cardboard, and mantains a constant dialogue with its suppliers to make them aware that they are part of the recycling chain and, therefore, find their way to the differents levels. These suppliers are expected to maintain vigilance on the safety of their raw materials and communicate with the paper industry in this subject. In particular, converters are responsable for applying a range of substances to paper and cardboard, like inks and adhesives. The safety properties of these substances must be well documented, known by the operators, since the finished product can be use as food packaging material or article or, eventually, returned to the factories to be recycled at the different contact levels with food. Knowledge about substance safety is constantly changing and, in cases where new toxicological evidence is confirmed about substances previously considered safe, joint measures will be taken quickly to ensure tha food contact continues to comply with all legislation reference.
Nowadays, this action is formalized in the Eco-design Project within the technical committee that is par of the European Recovered Paper Council, which represents all industrial actors interested in the paper and cardboard value chain, and has the European Commission as oficial observer.
The rules of food use for gummed paper refer exclusively to indirect contact with food products -7.2.2- and, therefore, focus on the entire range of posible uses in transport, packaging and distribution.
Here we share de Industry Guide – Materials Paper and carboard and articles for food contact, from which this information has been directly extracted.
And, in this FEFCO video, we can see some questions and answers about the previous Guide and advantages of its use.