Eastman Chemical Company announced today that the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), adopted legislation adding a key monomer used in Eastman Tritan copolyester to a list of monomers accepted for production of plastics intended for food contact applications. The legislation followed a favorable opinion issued in 2009 from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the EU agency responsible for evaluating the safety of food and materials that come into contact with food.
"We have seen a global increase in demand for high-quality housewares, small appliance and infant care products that offer durability and clarity, and withstand repeated high temperature washings and aggressive cleaning agents without cracking, crazing or hazing," said Lucian Boldea, business director for Eastman's Specialty Plastics Business. "Soon manufacturers in the European Union will be able to use Eastman Tritan copolyester to meet these consumer demands with new, differentiated products."
The European Commission's action is the final step paving the way for the Plastics Implementation Measure legislation supporting the use of Eastman Tritan copolyester for food contact applications to pass through the European Parliament and be published in the Official Journal of the European Union sometime between late 2010 and early 2011. Once published in the Official Journal of the European Union, Tritan will be fully cleared for use in housewares, small appliance and infant care applications throughout the EU.
Eastman Tritan, a new-generation copolyester, delivers the advantages of traditional copolyesters, such as inherent toughness and clarity, but also offers high heat, chemical and shatter resistance, improved design flexibility and ease of processing. It is manufactured without bisphenol A (BPA).
Eastman Tritan copolyester received clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in food contact applications. In addition, the Japan Hygienic Olefin and Styrene Plastics Association (JHOSPA), which publishes voluntary standards for certain polymeric materials and products for use as food containers, packaging materials and utensils, has amended its list of certified polymers to include the composition of Tritan.
Since the 2007 launch of Tritan, the material has been used in North America and Asia in a variety of applications in the housewares, small appliance, infant care and bulk water markets. It has also been used in non-food contact applications in Europe and the Middle East.