EU Members Respond to Concerns Over Bamboo-Melamine Food Contact Products

Several countries in the European Union (EU) have announced bans
on the importation of food contact products made from bamboo-melamine. In some cases,
these countries also require the removal of these products from the market.

Country responses include:

  • Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (Benelux countries) –
    requires operators to withdraw food contact ‘bamboo-melamine’ plastics
    immediately (enforcement from Q2 2021)
  • Finland – ban on the importation of food contact plastic materials
    containing bamboo fiber or unauthorized vegetable fibers + withdrawal from sale
  • Ireland – ban on food contact plastics containing unauthorized
    additives derived from bamboo
  • Spain – has reminded operatives that food contact plastics
    containing bamboo fibers, etc. are not authorized under the Food Contact
    Plastics Regulation and are therefore not permitted on EU markets + recommendation
    to remove articles from sale

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Stakeholders should also be aware that Austria has rejected cups
and tableware made from a mix of bamboo fibers, melamine and maize on several
occasions and issued notifications via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed
portal (RASFF portal).

These announcements follow a 2020 note by the Expert Working Group
on Food Contact Materials (FCM) covering food contact plastic materials and
articles containing ground bamboo (‘bamboo-melamine’) or other similar
constituents. This concluded that ground bamboo, bamboo flour, and many similar
substances, such as corn, are not in the Union List of Authorized Substances
(Union List) in Annex I to Regulation (EU) 10/2011 (Food Contact Plastics
Regulation). Products containing these additives are therefore not in
compliance with regulatory compositional requirements.

Stakeholders should be aware that authorization has been given

  • Wood flour and fibers, untreated
  • Sunflower seed hulls

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Additionally, the specific migration values for melamine and
formaldehyde in products made with bamboo additives have often been found to be
substantially higher than those permitted under the Food Contact Plastics

SGS Food Contact Materials Services

SGS’s technical experts have extensive experience of testing materials and
articles in contact with food. They can ensure that your products meet the
appropriate regulations for food contact materials and pave the way for
compliance. SGS offers the full range of testing, including migration tests,
along with expert advice on emerging regulations, compliance issues and
documentation review.
Learn more
about SGS’s
Contact Material
s Services.

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the
latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full Several
EU Member States Announce the Prohibition of Food Contact Bamboo-Melamine

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For further information contact:

Dr. Udo Krischke
Global Technical Manager RSTS
Tel: +49 6128 744 235

HingWo Tsang

Global Information and Innovation Manager

Tel: (+852) 2774 7420



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