The European paper and board industry welcomes the European Parliament report by the rapporteur Christel Schaldemose MEP on implementation of the Framework Regulation on Food Contact Materials In particular, the paper-based packaging value chain supports the strong call by the Parliament to develop a measure specific to the paper and board materials.
Paper and board is the most sustainable packaging material in Europe. In food application paper-based packaging is number one with 13.8 million tonnes annually.
A well-functioning internal market is key for the paper and board industry, its customers and consumers alike. Yet, until now, specific food contact measures have been developed for only three materials (plastics, ceramics and regenerated cellulose) as well as for active and intelligent packaging. In the absence of common EU rules diverging national measures are now seriously hampering the internal market. These inconsistencies have created legal uncertainty and risks for the entire value chain, and hinder consumers’ confidence in food safety.
The paper industry has always prioritised consumer safety and has set world-class standards for producing safe packaging materials. But it cannot replace the role of the legislator in setting a level playing field and European-wide levels for safety.
In recent years industry has heavily invested in scientific research and is conducting ambitious work on supporting future legal measure thereby extensively upgrading its guidelines for food contact material. We can build upon the latest scientific knowledge, industry state of art practices and European Food Safety Authority’s approach to ensure a high level of consumer protection across Europe.
Note to the Editor
Paper & board is based on organic fibres from wood and other biomass sources. Paper material is biodegradable, renewable and readily recyclable. When used for product packaging paper is frequently with a combination of materials including foil, plastic or wax. These combinations are always tailor-made and are produced in the most resource-efficient manner whilst considering their functionality. In respect of packaging for transport, corrugated board which has significant levels of recycled material, is generally used. The paper-based packaging value chain consists of:
CEPI (Confederation of European Paper Industries) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing the industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 505 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 920 paper mills. Together they represent 23% of world production. Website: http://www.cepi.org/
CITPA, International Confederation of Paper and Board Converters in Europe established in 1961, represents the interests of the European Paper and Board Converting Industry which covers a wide variety of converted paper products including packaging, corrugated board and many more. CITPA membership comprises European level associations such as EUROSAC, FEFCO, FINAT, ECTA and ECMA as well as National Federations such as Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Portugal and associate members ProCarton, and Cepi Eurokraft. Website: http://www.citpa-europe.org/
FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers) was established in 1952 and represents the interests of the European Corrugated Board Manufacturers. Headquartered in Brussels, FEFCO has 20 active members, all European national corrugated packaging organisations. FEFCO members represent about 412 companies operating over 700 production sites and directly employing over 91 000 people. The Corrugated Board production is approximately 43.4 billion m2 per year, used mainly as transport, secondary or primary packaging to protect variety of products. The role of the Federation is to investigate economic, financial, technical and marketing issues of interest to the corrugated packaging Industry, to analyse all factors which may influence the industry, and to promote and develop its image. Website: http://www.fefco.org/