Food packaging

Polymerupdate News – Taiwan to ban PVC in food packaging from July 2023

To avoid the irresponsible dumping of large numbers of single-use plastics in the open, the Taiwan government has decided to ban the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in food packaging from July 2023. This means the manufacture, import and sale of food packaging materials containing PVC will be suspended in Taiwan from July next year.

Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced in a statement that trade in PVC-containing materials intended for application in food packaging will not be permitted after July 2023. Therefore, traders, importers, manufacturers or retailers will have to empty all their stocks before this date. deadline. A massive penalty has been proposed for law breakers.

According to reports, the EPA has found that some dairy products continue to use PVC containers. These packaging materials are normally discarded after first use. Other segments are also concerned about using PVC for food packaging items.

“Although it is less commonly used compared to the past, plastic containers using PVC can still be found on some dairy product packaging,” said Wang Yueh-bin, executive director of the recycling fund management board. from the EPA.

The greatest threat is in the form of plasticizers released into packaged liquid materials. According to several studies, PVC packaging can release plasticizers when used to store liquids, with overexposure to the substance possibly leading to cancer risk when consuming the packaged liquids.

Wang further added that this plastic material may also contain stabilizers which may harm people’s health even otherwise, as most of these food packaging materials are in the form of single-use plastics which contain remnants of the material packed inside.

When burned, PVC containers release dioxins and heavy metals, and although incinerators use filters to capture these materials, contaminated ash can still seep into the ground to pollute the environment, a- he added.

The ban on PVC packaging materials has already become an international standard as it has been implemented in South Korea and New Zealand. Countries like Canada, Spain, and some cities in the United States have also introduced a ban on PVC-containing food packaging materials. By implementing the ban, Taiwan can hope to reduce the release of approximately 79 metric tons of polyvinyl chloride food packaging each year.

The EPA has prescribed a fine for violators of the law after the authorized period ends in June 2023. The fine for sellers has been set between NT$1,200 (US$40.74) and NT$6,000 (US$203). .7 USD). However, for the manufacture and importation of such items, the penalty has been prescribed between NT$60,000 (US$2,037) and NT$300,000 (US$10,185).

According to various studies, many school supplies for children, such as lunch boxes, backpacks and binders, can be made from toxic PVC plastic, which is dangerous for human health and also for the environment. PVC contains dangerous chemical additives, including phthalates, lead, cadmium and organotin compounds, which can be toxic to a child’s health. These toxic additives can leach or evaporate into the air over time, posing unnecessary dangers to children.

PVC is a major source of phthalates – which are the same dangerous plastic softeners banned from children in recent years. Phthalates harm children’s health and development by interfering with natural hormonal functioning and have been linked to birth defects in baby boys, testicular cancer, liver problems and early onset of puberty in girls – which is a risk factor for later breast cancer.

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