Food and beverage packaging regulations for Europe and the United States have major differences. The European Union enforces stricter regulations that focus on reducing the packaging’s environmental impact and the waste disposal impact on human health, compared to the United States.
The European regulation REACH controls the use of chemicals in packaging and enforces restrictions on use of high risk chemicals, such as lead, hexavalent chromium, mercury and cadmium. This legislation also pushes companies to reduce the amount of packaging used in their products and to reduce the amount of waste their packaging produces. Materials must also be recyclable, incinerated with energy recovery or biodegradable.
Both the United States and European Commission imposes a total ban of bisphenol-A (BPA) on infant products. Studies have shown that the phthalates chemicals have been found to cause birth defects and reproductive malfunctions in humans. Globally, a ban on BPA and phthalates in food contract packaging is also being enforced by ISO regulations.
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Source: Packaging Digest