The green deal of the EU leads to a huge activity to replace plastic or at minimum to higher recycling activities. In principle this goes into the right direction. However, in certain areas like food contact materials this may lead to problems, especially if safety aspects are concerned. Avoiding plastic resp. replacing plastic by i.e. paper based solutions has to assessed very careful as paper cannot handled in the same way due to its different physico-chemical properties. On the other hand recycling material is mainly from not well controlled raw material sources – the reason why currently only PET based materials can be used in recycling quality. All this kind of restrictions have to be considered when the safety of the food contact materials and related to this the safety of the food is assessed. It is currently widely observable that all kind of food contact materials are fully sustainable, however is this really true. In the current talk the problematic relation between sustainability and safety is shown with examples. In addition the safety aspects related to food are more detailed highlighted.
Thomas Gude is Deputy Head of SQTS, Switzerland. After studying food chemistry in Berlin, Germany, followed by a PhD in the area of veterinary drugs at the Federal Health Service, Berlin, he has been working for an EU Reference Laboratory and for more than 10 years in pharmaceutical and chemical industry in various research and development positions (chemical analysis, toxicology, pharmacokinetic) as well as in quality assurance. Since 19 years he is now working for SQTS responsible for the food and non-food testing laboratories. Besides the analytical challenges, he is working in the area of risk assessments with special focus on food, food contact materials and non-food products. In addition, he is giving lectures at several institutions/Universities like ETH Zürich in food safety and analytical (food) chemistry.