Wednesday, February 26, 2020

New alliance calls for amendment of law prohibiting recycled PET in food packaging

Jul 01. 2019
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By The Nation

The Thai Beverage Industry Association (TBA) partnership with Indorama Ventures Plc have announced their collaboration to further encourage the amendment of a regulation that will allow the use of recycled PET in food and beverage packaging in Thailand.

The partners are also working with the Thailand Risk Assessment Centre: TRAC, the Nutrition Promotion Foundation under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University on research to understand consumer behavior in relation to their plastic consumption and specifically their practices after consumption that can render that plastic unsuitable for recycling. The aim of this study is to develop the right protocol and direction for rPET usage, a part of sustainable plastic waste management that also ensures consumer confidence in product safety, Veera Akraputtiporn, Vice Chairman and President of TBA, said.

In its position at the very heart of the cooperation among members of the non-alcohol beverage industry, the Association realises the importance of its role in helping to solve the plastic waste problem. Packaging in particular is a vital component in delivering fresh and quality drinks to consumers safely.

However, packaging can also become a big environmental issue if it is not being disposed of or recycled properly. Today, beverage manufacturers in Thailand have no other options but to use 100-per-cent virgin plastic because the regulations prohibit the use of recycled plastic in food-contact packaging. As a result, our members simply cannot reduce the use of virgin plastic in this regard even if they want to, he added.

Thailand currently prohibits the use of recycled PET in food and beverage packaging even though many sectors and industries have become increasingly aware of the necessity for and benefits of rPET usage in recent years. The Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already set up a committee to review the Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No. 295) B.E. 2548 (Y2005), Clause 8, which states: “It is prohibited to use plastic containers made from re-used plastic with the exception of use for packing fruits with peel.” The committee has studied academic research and guidelines from many countries on recycled PET, but suggests an intensive survey be carried out to better understand the issue and Thai consumer behavior. The Thailand Risk Assessment Centre (TRAC), the Nutrition Promotion Foundation under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and the Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University were assigned to take the lead in the survey, which is being supported by TBA with funding from its members, namely the Coca-Cola system in Thailand, Suntory PepsiCo Beverage (Thailand) Company Limited and Nestlé (Thai) Ltd. Company along with Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited as a supply partner.

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