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Bisphenol A, R3PACK supports the ban from consumer products, calls for stricter rules



Press release

8 March 2024



While supporting efforts to ban Bisphenol A and other harmful substances from consumer products, the R3PACK Consortium also strongly urges policymakers to prioritise protecting public health and the environment by fostering transparency in chemical management and risk analysis for environmental/food safety.


The European Commission has proposed a ban of Bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact materials within the European Union. This proposal follows the findings of the European Environment Agency in 2023 which found that approximately 92% of adult Europeans have high levels of BPA in their bodies, many of which exceed the recommended maximums established by the European Food Safety Agency.

 

BPA is a hazardous chemical substance used to manufacture certain plastics, as well as resins used for protective linings in food and beverage packaging. Due to its use in containers and other food contact materials, it regularly migrates into foods and drinks, in so doing entering the human body.

 

The proposed ban by the Commission responds to serious public health concerns related to Bisphenols in food contact materials, rightfully treating them with the severity they deserve. REPACK recognises the importance of adopting the precautionary principle and implementing stricter requirements on chemicals to ensure the safety of consumers and the environment.

 

Studies have shown that micro- and nano-plastics can contaminate agricultural soils, irrigation water, and oceans with BPA, which can in turn be absorbed by living creatures and enter the rest of the food chain. It is therefore of great relevance for the Commission’s proposed ban to be implemented, protecting both the natural environment and the human food chain itself which is essential to healthy living.

 

While the R3PACK Consortium supports efforts to ban Bisphenol A and other harmful substances from consumer products, we also strongly urge policymakers to prioritise protecting public health and the environment by fostering transparency in chemical management and risk analysis for environmental/food safety. Specifically, R3PACK stresses that:

 

·       A comprehensive approach is needed to not only address the presence of BPA, but also other harmful substances like per- and poly-fluoroalkyl (PFAS) and phthalates. Such substances should be phased-out in primary articles to promote circularity and safety in recycling processes.

 

·       Information should be freely available and transparent regarding the content of chemicals in products. This empowers consumers to make informed decisions based on accurate information, which in turn supports sustainable consumption practices.

 

·       Risk analysis should be improved by considering interactions between different hazardous substances present in both the environment and food. Single-point risk analysis is insufficient to provide an accurate assessment of consumer exposure to dangerous substances, whereas a multi-faceted analysis system is far more accurate.



 

About R3PACK

R3PACK - Reduce, Reuse, Rethink PACKaging: towards novel fibre-based packaging and reuse schemes uptake is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 101060806. The project aims to secure the fast and extensive uptake of industrially relevant, cross-sectorial, cost-effective innovative technologies allowing immediate substitution of complex multilayer plastic packaging with high performing fibre-based packaging and economical, industrial and environmental optimisation of reuse schemes demonstrated at large scale and transnationally in three EU countries by two major retailers, covering the needs of 13 different food product types.









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