The complete ban on packaging material made of recycled plastics

The studies of some food items done by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had shown that there are concerns about the use of packaging material by the unorganised/informal sector.

Further, there are serious concerns about the safety of loose packaging material. Thus, these regulations

prohibit packaging material made of recycled plastics including carry bags for packaging, storing,

carrying or dispensing articles of food. But the packaging material used by the organised sector is largely safe

Further, taking cognizance of the carcinogenic effect of inks and dyes, these regulations also prohibit the use of newspaper and such other materials for packing or wrapping of food articles and includes respective Indian standard for printing inks for use on food packages.

CEO, FSSAI, Pawan Agarwal pointed out that ‘the new packaging regulations would raise the bar of food

safety in India to the next level. He pointed out that there would be difficulties in implementation of

these regulations particularly as far as they relate to the loose packaging materials and to the

unorganised sector’. Thus, sufficient lead time has been given before the regulations come into force.

The food businesses shall have to comply with these regulations by 1st July 2019.

FSSAI’s new packaging regulations have been notified this week. The new regulations replace all provisions w.r.t. packaging requirements prescribed in the Food

Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. Recognizing the importance of

packaging in the food sector and its impact on food safety, the packaging regulations have been

separated from the labelling regulations and a separate Scientific Panel for food packaging is planned.

A primary objective of packaging is to protect the food contents from microbiological, chemical,

physical and atmospheric contamination and preserve the food and thereby protect consumer’s

health. Good packaging also ensures that there is no change in sensory properties or composition of

food when packed. Packaging is essential and critical for promoting food safety, extended shelf-life

and thereby enhancing food security.

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