The country’s food regulator FSSAI brought in a long expected regulation, by directing all Food Business Operators (FBO) not to wrap food products using recycled plastics, newspaper, and paper sheets.
This move was taken after a study conducted by FSSAI detected the presence of chemical contamination and heavy metals in food packed in these materials. The study, done in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), Mumbai, and the National Test House (NTH), Kolkata, found that out of 380 food samples collected from unorganised sector, 51 samples were found with heavy metal contaminant such as plastic pouches, lids, containers, bottles, Al Foils, etc.
The FSSAI has amended existing provisions with respect to packing requirements prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. As Pawan Agarwal, CEO of FSSAI said, “We have given time to all FBOs till July 1, 2019 to gear up for the new packaging guidelines. The greater safety concern is for food packaging material by unorganised sector or loose packing. These regulations prohibit packaging materials made of recycled plastics, including carry bags for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing articles of food.”