EU recommends glass as ban on plastic baby bottles enforced

Today, 1 March 2011, the EU Directive to ban the use of BPA in plastic infant feeding bottles published on 28 January 2011 will take effect in the EU Member States. It will no longer be possible to ma…

Today, 1 March 2011, the EU Directive to ban the use of BPA in plastic infant feeding bottles published on 28 January 2011 will take effect in the EU Member States. It will no longer be possible to manufacture polycarbonate infant feeding bottles containing BPA. Starting from 1 June 2011, the ban will also cover imports of baby bottles containing this material. The European Commission has taken due account of the European Food Safety Opinion of 2006 according to which: infants aged 3 and 6 months fed using polycarbonate infant feeding bottles have the highest exposure to BPA and that this level of exposure decreases once feeding from polycarbonate bottles is phased out. In its Directive, the EC therefore refers to glass as alternative material to polycarbonate because it does not contain BPA and it is safe for human health as it has to comply with very strict safety requirements set out for food contact materials. There is now no doubt that EU Legislation considers container glass as one of the most chemically and biologically inert materials says Adeline Farrelly secretary general of FEVE. She adds: Container glass is exempt from the EU Regulation REACH which obliges industry to register any material or substance potentially harmful for human health, and to duly inform citizens. Glass vessels are so stable that they are extensively used in toxicological tests. And glass does not need to go to landfill as it is 100% and infinitely recycleable. However, should this happen, it is accepted at landfill sites without further testing because it is not harmful for the environment. In the US, the same concerns around potential dangers for human health linked to BPA exposure have recently brought politicians Edward Markey (Democrat-Massachusetts) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Democrat-California) to re-introduce separate legislation to ban BPA in food and beverage containers and, particularly, in those destined for baby food. Already in May 2010, the US Cancer Panels advice to President Obama warned against the lack of regulation on chemicals and their consequences on health and recommended amongst other things to store water in glass and microwave food in glass containers. In the US, glass packaging material is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration. FEVE is the association of European manufacturers of glass containers and machine-made glass tableware. The members of FEVE produce over 20 million tonnes of glass per year. The association has some 60 corporate members belonging to approximately 20 independent corporate groups. Manufacturing plants are located across 23 European States and include global blue chip and major companies working for the worlds biggest consumer brands. The Container Glass industry accounts for 60% of the total glass production in Europe and is spread throughout some 160 plants, including Switzerland and Turkey. The EU is the world“s largest producer of container glass. The glass container industry in Europe employs 46,000 people. As packaging, glass containers assure the preservation, safe delivery and attractive presentation of a vast array of consumer products, supplied to European and world markets. Whether used for drinks, food, cosmetics, perfumes or pharmaceuticals, glass plays a vital role in supporting European trade and commerce. Glass is 100 percent recyclable, virtually inert and preserves the original taste of the products it contains. Baby food products such as milk – need the protection of its container to preserve its purity and its vitamins. A container is not just a commodity. Because health is not only in the ingredients but also in the packaging that preserves these ingredients.