The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has moved to notify the regulations related to recycled plastic material as food contact material. The food authority in this regard has issued a draft to amend the packaging regulations.

Called, Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Amendment Regulations, 2022, the draft will make way for use of recycled plastic, once it was notified in the gazette.

Under these regulations, products made of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) may be used for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing of food products as and when standards and guidelines are notified by the Food Authority.

This provision will replace the sub clause (e) related to plastic materials intended to come in contact with food products, under clause 4 related to specific requirements for primary food packaging, in the packaging regulations.

The draft added that such packaging materials shall also comply with any other national standards/regulations as applicable.

Recently, the FSSAI had operationalised this draft related to the use of recycled plastics for the purpose of packaging by the food industry.

Also, the food authority had issued guidelines for recycling of post consumer PET for food contact applications and acceptance criteria for recycled PET resin for food contact applications.

The guidelines pertain to the recycling process/operation of transforming post consumer PET bottles used for food packaging into food grade recycled PET resins suitable for making bottles and packaging material for bottling or packaging and its testing. The guidelines also cover the acceptance criteria for using food grade recycled PET resin material in bottling or packaging operations.