Are you drinking plastic as well as a cup of tea?
The Food Packaging Forum recently summarised academic papers that investigated the release of tiny plastic particles or ‘nano-sized’ particles from single use plastic food contact materials under normal usage.
Some of the items tested included throw away plastic-lined coffee cups which were filled with hot water and tested for the release of plastic particles. The researchers found that these cups which were lined with low density polyethylene (LDPE) and then filled with water released more than 1 trillion very tiny particles (nanometer-sized) per litre. Another piece of research showed that plastic tea bags release over 14 billion particles of plastic per bag during brewing.
Should we be concerned?
Both the release of tiny particles of plastic and tiny particles of chemicals from these materials can be a health concern for humans and the environment. CHEM Trust works on improving legislation around food contact materials (FCM) because of the threat that thousands of chemicals can pose to health by migrating into food and drink from food contact materials into the body.
We are eagerly anticipating the public consultation on the EU revision of food contact material legislation, which we expect to include a more restrictive approach on the most hazardous chemicals currently found in food contact materials.
Subscribe to our food contact materials newsletter ‘Food for Thought’ here to find out more about key updates on FCM policy, are asks for the new FCM legislation and useful resources. Read the April edition here.