“Plastics packaging is safe” says BPF

Posted on 21 Feb 2014 by The Manufacturer

The British Plastics Federation has responded to claims made in The Guardian newspaper that chemicals are leeching into foods from plastic packaging.

Responding to this claim, the British Plastics Federation director general designate, Philip Law said: “The Guardian article followed a familiar pattern.”

“The article cited a paper from a learned journal warning of long term damage of exposure to synthetics and urging further research.

“It was an alarmist piece and once again the views on the industry were not solicited.”

Mr Law explained that a wide range of chemicals were categorised as ‘synthetics’ for the purposes of this research while in reality they all have “very different, individual profiles”.

Mr Law also pointed out that two the of chemicals which the Guardian Article identified as potentially dangerous in food packaging have this week been cleared of concern by the European Commission.

“We are unaware of any specific case of a human being’s health being impaired by exposure to chemicals from plastics used in any application, let alone packaging,” continued Law.

“That fact is that plastics used in food packaging are subject to a whole battery of EU and national regulations, including the EU Regulation on plastic materials and articles intended for contact with food and the immensely detailed REACH Regulation. On top of this, monitoring is carried out not only by the European Food Safety Authority but also by the UK Food Standards Agency.”

BPF upholds the value of plastics in food packaging, highlighting how plastics have brought advances in food hygiene in the last 50 years.

“The plastics used in the packaging of food are often the same as those used in healthcare applications, including body parts which are in intimate and long-term contact with body tissues,” concluded Law. “Not only is plastics packaging safe, public health benefits significantly from it.”