Preconceived ideas on plastic packaging

Packaging imported into France may still contain BPA

Wrong. Act 2010-729 of 30 June 2010 as amended by Act 2012-1442 of 24 December 2012 suspends not only the manufacturinf but also the importation and placing of packaging on the market containing BPA.
This also concerns the import and placing on the market of food contained in such packaging containing BPA.

PET may contain bisphenol A or BPA

Wrong. Bisphenol A is the basic component (monomer) which after chemical reaction (polymerisation) becomes polycarbonate, a plastic completely separate from PET.
Where permitted, BPA is also used as an essential component in the synthesis of epoxy resins. These resins can be used in the formulation of certain plastic lacquers used for the internal protection of a large part of metal packaging intended for food contact.
Apart from the fact that BPA is prohibited in France for materials in direct contact with food, there is no reason why BPA should be found in PET packaging.

What about other plastics?

Authorised, phthalates are less and less used in the manufacturing of plastic materials in contact with food in Europe and almost no longer in France. This also applies to PVC stretchable food films (“films for freshness”): films made in Europe do not contain phthalates to give them their suppleness and elasticity, but adipates (especially DEHA) which belong to a completely different family and have nothing to do with phthalates.

Alternatives to BPA are as dangerous as BPA itself

Wrong. In accordance with French regulations, substitutes have been validated for both safety and organoleptic quality requirements. Several test phases were carried out to test the new plastic lacquer throughout the life of the products of packaging suppliers and then during the production processes of food companies. A priori, the alternative plastic laquer used for packaging in contact with foodstuffs are not manufactured with other compounds of the bisphenol family but we cannot be certain about it, mainly for imported food.

PET contains phthalates

Wrong. Phthalates are used as plasticizers for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), giving it the flexibility needed to facilitate its shaping. In polyethylene terephthalate, the term phthalate describes a chemical function of the product and not the substances “phthalates”, obtained by esterification of phthalic acid, which may explain some confusion.

Therefore, no phthalate substances are used in the PET manufacturing process.

PET could release suspected endocrine disrupting compounds under heat and water

Wrong. The German and European health agencies confirmed the safety of PET in 2010. These opinions followed the publication in 2009 of a study by the Goethe University in Frankfurt, the results of which tended to highlight hormonal activity linked to PET bottles.
In its opinion, the BfR stated that it was not aware of any substances used in the manufacture of PET that could migrate into mineral water and be responsible for the estrogenic action of samples from PET bottles.