European Commission publishes bisphenol restriction proposal for FCMs

European Commission proposes ban on bisphenol A in food contact with a 36-month transition period for varnishes, coatings and professional production equipment, 18 months for most everything else; monitoring of unintentional BPA in recycled paper and board proposed to be left to business operators; submit comments until March 8, 2024

Growing concerns around industry lobbying in the EU

European Parliament opening internal investigation into lobbyist conduct related to the packaging and packaging waste regulation; civil society organization Corporate Europe Observatory publishes report of industry arguments made to DG Grow and DG Environment about the essential use concept

Studies review human exposures and effects of micro- and nanoplastics

Three studies investigate micro- and nanoplastics – source, organ deposition, and reproductive effects; detect up to 240,000 plastic particles/L in bottled water with 90% being nanoplastics; find microplastics in human lung, intestine, and kidney tissues; polyethylene particles found to affect placental function in mice

New EU Directive targets sustainability labels and greenwashing buzzwords

EU Parliamentarians overwhelmingly approve new directive to limit sustainability certifications and claims such as “eco friendly”, “biodegradable”, and “natural” without proof; offsets to earn environmental claims will also no longer be allowed

Review summarizes current picture of ‘human-centric’ micro- and nanoplastics research

Scientists review and briefly summarize available scientific literature on each step of microplastic exposure from source to effect in humans; includes sections on sources of microplastics, exposure routes, levels, deposition in the body, and confirmed health effects; highlight current shortcomings

Immediate ban on foamware announced by Lagos State, Nigeria

Nigerian states of Lagos and Abia ban single-use polystyrene foam packaging “with immediate effect”; give three weeks to use up current stock; other single use plastic products will also be targeted later in 2024; federal Ministry of Environment also banning single-use plastics at headquarters and agencies

Food contact chemicals among 921 substances tied to breast cancer risk

Researchers expand list of known substances with characteristics linked to breast cancer by more than four-fold; many are in standard consumer products, including 189 in food contact according to FPF’s database on migrating and extractable food contact chemicals (FCCmigex); authors call for improved hazard identification methods, advocate for more comprehensive chemical testing, especially focusing on the mammary gland and broader range of chemicals

Paper straws not safer than plastic straws, scientists find

Study analyzes non-volatile compounds migrating from nine different printed and non-printed paper straws into soda; identifies 19 chemicals in concentrations up to 3.6 mg/kg soda; chemicals include suspected carcinogen and endocrine disruptors; findings suggest paper straws are not a safer alternative to plastic straws

Four food contact chemicals added to SVHC candidate list

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) adds five new chemicals to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC) and expands listing of a sixth; five of the six have been measured in food contact articles; listing obligates producers and suppliers to provide safety information and to notify ECHA; candidate list now contains 240 substances

Indonesia updating national regulation on food contact materials

Indonesia’s draft food contact regulation reorganizes material groups; includes positive and negative substance lists, specific and overall migration limits; testing guidance based on food type, contact time, and temperature; public consultation closed in December 2023, final version expected in 2024