Corrugated packaging is just one of a range of paper and board materials that sometimes has direct contact with food. Our industry has a long-standing commitment to the protection of human health. In the absence of any European legislation specific to paper and board, we decided to launch a voluntary Industry Guideline to provide assurance to customers and regulators of the safety of our material.
I chaired the Cross Industry Group that developed the Guideline. This was a long process and it was with a sense of achivement that we finally launched the first edition in 2010.
At the time of that launch it was foreseen that frequent revisions would be required and this September saw the launch of Issue 2. (I’m happy to report that the revised version took much less time to compile than the original!) The new issue takes account of recent developments in legislation and the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) developed by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). It can be downloaded here: Industry Guideline (First Revision September 2012)
A final thought: the foreword of the Industry Guideline states ‘it is envisaged that the guideline could form the basis of a specific legislative measure in the future, a development that the paper-based packaging industry would welcome’. We are definitely at a crossroads for European legislation on food contact materials. My vote is for a specific measure for paper and board. The next 12 months will be interesting.