Printing on food packaging: Siegwerk talks regulatory hurdles

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, Printing press

Requirements for food packaging inks under Swiss national legislation have been in force for over one year, while new rules on food packaging inks exist in Germany but in draft form; we hear about the implications of these developments for the industry.

Inks are not covered by specific European legislation on food contact materials. However the use of printing inks has to comply with the general rules of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 as well as with good manufacturing practice (GMP), while regulation 10/2011 – PIM – defines migration limits for printed ink layers on plastic materials.

The European Printing Ink Association (EuPIA), in the absence of specific EU rules, has introduced and distributed industry guidelines.

However the fallout from scandals involving the migration of inks from packaging (ITX in milk and juice in 2005 and benzophenone/4-MBP in breakfast cereals in 2009) has prompted national authorities to act

At Interpack 2011, Dr Jörg-Peter Langhammer, VP global HSE & sustainability at Siegwerk, told this publication that while the printing inks industry welcomes regulation, it has strong reservations about the fact that legislation is only being rolled out at the individual country level.

And he questions why the Commission isn’t looking to bring in a more uniform approach to the matter.

Moreover, Siegwerk claims that the draft German legislation, as it currently stands, is not workable and would, in effect, result in a de-facto ban on nano-based packaging materials; it is calling for an urgent dialogue between raw material supplier and the German federal authorities on the draft ordinance.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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