Shrinking pool of substances
What are the main issues on EuPIA’s agenda this year?
Dr Martin Kanert: Clearly, it will be the top priority for EuPIA in 2017 to give support to the development of a European piece of legislation for printed food contact materials (FCM). This will be done in close co-operation with the other members of the food packaging supply chain, as organised in the Packaging Ink Joint Industry Task Force (PIJITF), but also with the raw material suppliers upstream of the printing ink industry. EuPIA is concerned by the increasing number of re-classifications of substances, triggered by the generation and evaluation of information on substances under REACH. With a shrinking pool of substances available, re-formulation becomes ever more difficult, sometimes even impossible, to maintain the high performance of printing inks. Where proposed re-classifications are deemed unjustified, EuPIA joins forces with allies to avert such classification.
What is the latest status on legislation in printing inks for FCM?
Dr Martin Kanert
Managing Director EuPIA
Kanert: As a result of the notification of the draft German Printing Ink Ordinance according to the TRIS procedure, eight member states had expressed their concerns. The European Commission had announced its intention to adopt new union legislation on printed FCM including printing inks. As this harmonised legislation is planned to be adopted in 2018, work on drafting the legislation is high on the agenda of the working programme for 2017 of the competent Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE). It is expected that a working draft will be presented within one year. Germany will suspend the adoption of its draft German Ink Ordinance until further notice.
What other activities is EuPIA engaged in?
Kanert: EuPIA is dedicated to sustainability – product stewardship is the key pillar of our action, to deliver safe and efficient products. EuPIA conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study on a generic reference ink the results of which are summarised in a leaflet available from the EuPIA website. We also closely monitor the EU circular economy strategy, as some of the objectives may have an indirect impact on printing inks. As a member of the European Paper Recycling Council, we support the new target recycling rate of 74% for paper products, intended to be achieved by the year 2020.
Food contact legislation is among your headaches at work? An overview of the national legislatory efforts and the status in a EU-wide harmonization as well as practical advice will be given in the European Coatings Seminars Food contact legislation in Amsterdam in December.