Thailand has published a notification with regards to the quality and standards of plastic food containers. The new law is enforced beginning June 18, 2022.
This law defines “container” as any article that can be used to contain food, whether by packing, wrapping the food, or any other method, and it includes any cover or stopper that is part of the container.
“Containers made from plastic” refers to a container made of virgin plastic that has not been used, as well as recycled plastic that has undergone a recycling process as follows:
- Primary recycling: pre-consumer scrap
- Secondary recycling: physical reprocessing or mechanical recycling
- Tertiary recycling: chemical reprocessing
Containers made from plastic must meet the following qualities or standards:
- No pathogenic microorganisms found
- No harmful substances are released in sufficient quantities to be harmful to health, except for the substances and quantities specified in Annex 1 of this notification. Annex 1 sets migration limits for 19 heavy metals and primary aromatic amines (PAAs) for different types of plastics.
- When using the containers, the substance must not be migrated into the food to the extent that the food or food composition changes to the point where it is unacceptable or deteriorates the sensory characteristics of the food.
- If the container is colored, the color must be food contact grade and must not contaminate the food.
- When printing or texting on the container, the printing ink must be firmly attached and not leak into the food.
In addition to the aforementioned quality or standards, containers made from plastic must be in accordance with Annex 1 of this notification.
Containers made of plastic that are not specified in Annex 1 of this notification must meet the above qualities or standards, ensures no hazardous substances dispersed in harmful quantities and must all relevant documents or evidence must be submitted, as well as the safety assessment results from approved safety assessment organization.
According to the new law:
Food contact materials and articles made from virgin plastics that were in use prior to this notification may continue to be used until June 18, 2025 (three years from the date of entry into force)
Food contact plastics complying with List Annex 2 of the notification may continue to be used until June 18, 2025 (three years from the date of enforcement)
Food and Drug Administration. (2022). Notification of the Ministry of Public Health (No.435) B.E 2565 (2022) Issued by virtue of the Food Act B.E. 2522.