Left side advert image
Right side advert image
Super banner advert image
Subscribe to Print Monthly's RSS feed

Enter your email address here to sign up for our weekly newsletter

Industry

Fears over unsafe paper food packaging

Test results from the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) have found traces of ink chemicals in food packaging made using coloured paper and cardboard.

Article picture

76 samples of paper food packaging were found to contain harmful chemicals

Despite paper being the second most used material for food packaging behind plastic, the organisation claims the results show that food packaging is “not as innocent as it seems”.

As more environmentally conscious companies make the switch from plastic to paper-based materials, the BEUC is calling for EU-wide laws regulating the use and safety of all paper and cardboard food packaging.

As part of the research, coffee cups, paper straws, printed napkins and grocery products were tested and one in six samples were found to contain “primary aromatic amines”, nine of which were above the chemical limit set in the EU Plastic Regulation.

Worryingly, almost all 76 samples were found to contain UV filters – some forms of which have been suspected to cause cancer or disruption to the hormone system.

While it has not been proven that the individual chemicals found will damage human health, the organisation says the results suggest such packaging could contain and release “problematic chemicals” that haven’t gone through the necessary health and safety evaluation.

With the ambitious ban on single-use plastic around the corner, the EU must ensure that alternatives such as paper and board food packaging are safe for consumers

Speaking to The Parliament Magazine, Monique Goyens, director general of BEUC says: “Chemicals in packaging that leak into our food ultimately enter our bodies, but they have no place there. These tests add to the growing evidence by consumer groups across Europe that paper food packaging may not be as innocent as it seems.

“To protect consumers’ health, the EU needs to develop strict rules that are more than a paper tiger. It is worrying that paper, which is the second most used food packaging after plastic, is used in contact with our food without a safety net.

“With the ambitious ban on single-use plastic around the corner, the EU must ensure that alternatives such as paper and board food packaging are safe for consumers.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Print printer-friendly version Printable version Send to a friend Contact us

No comments found!  

Sign in:

Email 

or create your very own Print Monthly account  to join in with the conversation.