CosPaTox Consortium publishes its voluntary industry guideline and an accompanying scientific dossier for the safety assessment of recycled plastics in packaging materials for cosmetics and home care products

CosPaTox, a consortium focused on the intersection of Cosmetics, Packaging and Toxicology, has developed a standardized, voluntary safety evaluation guidance for the use of plastic Post-Consumer Recyclates (PCR) in cosmetic product and detergent packaging.

The CosPaTox Consortium has undertaken extensive analytical testing as well as toxicological evaluation to understand the safety profile of PCR plastic materials made from PE, PP and LDPE as packaging materials for cosmetic products, detergents, and home care products. Clear guidance to enable a holistic testing strategy as well as a safety assessment approach for recycled plastics has been developed, including the definition of three distinct quality levels for plastic recyclates. The CosPaTox Consortium’s approach to enable a robust safety assessment is technology-neutral and does not consider or require any specific collection, sorting, or recycling technology. The focus is solely on the quality of the recycled materials themselves. The presented safety assessment approach can therefore be applied to any polyolefin recyclate, be it from a mechanical recycling, physical recycling, or chemical recycling origin.

The CosPaTox membership represents the entire value chain of the packaging types in focus: polyolefin producers, recyclers, converters, equipment producers, additive suppliers, analytical laboratories, and brand owners. To support the testing program, scientific experts specializing in toxicology and post-consumer packaging waste recycling have been contracted such as FH Campus Wien – University of Applied Sciences Vienna, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV and FABES Forschungs-GmbH. CosPaTox has been supported by Dr. Dennis Bankmann (Independent scientific consultant) and Prof. Dr. Olivier Vitrac (AgroParisTech and INRAE, founding members of the University of Paris-Saclay) for the creation of the CosPaTox guideline and the dossier.

The CosPaTox Consortium expects that the entire cosmetic, detergent, and home care products industry as well as their suppliers of recycled plastics will benefit from the new guideline and its scientific support, the CosPaTox dossier. CosPaTox aims that companies that have so far refrained from supplying or buying recycled plastics for packaging applications due to a lack of guidance regarding their safety evaluation or a lack of standardized quality definitions will be encouraged by the new voluntary guideline. By providing clear recommendations for the safe use of recycled plastic materials, even in the absence of food contact approvals, the CosPaTox Consortium’s work will help to boost the uptake of recycled materials in the packaging of cosmetic products and detergents and thereby contribute to a circular economy.

Considering the constantly evolving legal and regulatory landscape, it is essential to recognize that the CosPaTox Guideline and the accompanying Scientific Dossier do not offer legal advice regarding the regulations for packaging of cosmetics and home care products. Reliance on these documents does not release any user from their own responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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