Polystyrene Association launches food compliance responsibility initiative
The Polystyrene Association of SA has launched a Food Compliance Responsibility Initiative (FCRI) that is aimed at addressing health and safety concerns surrounding the use of polystyrene. Members of the Association who manufacture packaging used in food contact applications have been encouraged to sign a voluntary commitment to adhere to international health and safety standards.
Polystyrene (PS) packaging is widely used by brand owners, retailers and the fast food industry to sell a wide variety of different food products. Yoghurt cups, drinking cups, ice-cream containers and fresh fruit trays, meat trays, poultry trays and convenience food boxes are all made from PS. The packaging is strong, light and stable. It increases the shelf life of food, keeping it fresh and making it easy to transport and store.
“These are all excellent product qualities which have made PS the material of choice for many applications. However, as with any other packaging material, it needs to be used as intended by the manufacturers and handled correctly - especially in certain phases of its life cycle if it is to have a role in a sustainable future for society,” explains Adri Spangenberg, CEO of the Polystyrene Association of SA.
Adri goes on to clarify that the driving force behind the initiative is the belief that raw material suppliers, product manufacturers, product distributors and consumers are joint stewards for the responsible and sustainable production and use of food compliant PS products.
“Manufacturers are required to ensure that all raw materials included during the production process, are food grade certified. Good manufacturing practices must be displayed at all times and only in-house recyclate derived from the original food grade raw materials is allowed to be used,” she says.
Support from the industry has been very positive and welcoming and the country’s biggest manufacturers of polystyrene packaging have already committed themselves to these standards.
“We are very excited about this recent development and believe it will it is an important step forward that will protect the growth and well-being of our industry and ensure the long-term use of polystyrene as the packaging material,” Adri concludes.