Product Safety

Consumer health and safety is a top priority for our industry. The materials used in the production of packaging solutions, as well as the rigorous work practices and procedures that are followed, safeguard this. 

We have a proven track record in addressing any health and safety alerts that arise, and of working hand in hand with stakeholders to find fast, appropriate and safe solutions. 

An example of this was our reaction in 2009 to the alert over the use of certain UV inks and varnishes containing migrating photo initiators. ECMA very quickly adopted a public recommendation to stop the use of these types of inks and varnishes for food packaging, and recommended the introduction of specially designed low migration UV inks or alternative ink and varnish systems.

Migration of Mineral Oils
More recently, there has been concern over the migration from carton packaging of mineral oils from printing inks into foodstuff. Despite as yet no firm evidence or scientific data to support this concern, our industry is doing everything it can to address the matter. For example, as a precautionary measure, ECMA has recommended using only low migration inks for food packaging and has taken the position that recycled cartonboard is safe when adopted in combination with a systematic risk assessment procedure on the total packaging concept. 

We also fully support and willingly cooperate with the regulatory bodies such as DG Sanco and scientific organisations such as the European Food Safety Authority, and act upon any findings accordingly.

Low migration inks
Confronted with uncertainties regarding the safety of mineral oils – used in conventional sheet-fed offset ink systems – ECMA first informed its members on the potential migration issues, and secondly agreed to issue a proactive formal public recommendation to use only low migration inks for food packaging. ECMA recommends to use low migration inks for food packaging and confirms the safety of recycled cardboard in combination with a systematic risk assessment procedure.

Position Note:
ECMA recommendation on the use of low migration inks for food packaging

Committed to spread best practice in carton manufacturing, ECMA recommends with general reference to Chapter 4 “Recommendations for GMP compliance” of the sector GMP, after internal communications now publically the hereafter included approach regarding adhesives.   

Position note:
ECMA recommendation on the safe use of adhesives for food packaging

More openness between partners in the supply chains helps to reduce the risks and helps to find better solutions to food safety issues, something ECMA strongly supports.