Editorial Information

Trinseo Presents on Safety for Food Contact Plastic Packaging

Company expert educates on foamed and non-foamed polystyrene resins used in common food contact applications at Thin Wall Packaging Asia 2017

Hong Kong - Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Trinseo (NYSE: TSE), a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, conducted an expert presentation on

‘Safety for Food Contact Plastic Packaging” to participants interested in thermoformed and injection molded packaging value chain during the Quality & Safety Assurance and Testing Session of Thin Wall Packaging Asia 2017 in Singapore on September 19, 2017.

Trinseo Presents on Safety for Food Contact Plastic Packaging

Libby Fong, Trinseo’s Product Stewardship Specialist, discussed foamed and non-foamed polystyrene (PS) resins used in common food contact applications. The main topics covered included:

  • Why plastic is a popular packaging material - discussion on the various benefits of plastics as a packaging material. In addition to convenience and low cost, plastic packaging may prolong the shelf life of food, is used where hygiene is important and can keep foods hot or cold.
  • Polystyrene as a safe material to use in food contact applications – provided answers with references and scientific facts on false claims about styrene’s migration into food, toxicity and carcinogenic concerns.
  • Polystyrene and the Environment – Fong clarified that incorrect myths that fiber foodservice is biodegradable and therefore more environmentally friendly and that banning polystyrene in food service can solve land pollution problems.
  • Use of other materials for food packaging – reviewed materials such as paper-based, reusable and corn-based alternatives.

“Polystyrene is widely accepted by various authorities and has been approved to be used in food contact applications by the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, the European Commission/European Food Safety Authority in Europe, the Indonesia National Agency of Drug and Food Control, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as well as the Food and Drug Administration in the United States,” said Fong. “There is abundant scientific evidence stating that styrene at typical exposure levels cause no long-term health problems.”

There are several things to consider when choosing the best packaging material. All packaging leaves an environmental footprint regardless of material type. It takes energy and raw materials to produce, transport, and recover or dispose of all materials. So it is important to measure all these impacts throughout the entire lifecycle of the product.

Styrene exists naturally in many foods & beverages. The amount of styrene that migrates from PS packaging is far below the acceptable standards for exposure. Replacing PS in food service by alternative materials would significantly increase waste.

Fong concluded that compared to other alternatives, plastic is a better material to use for food packaging. It is economical, can be used in hygienic applications, keeps food hot or cold, and can lead to less food waste.

For questions about safety of PS in food contact applications, contact Ms. Libby Fong, Product Stewardship Specialist at MFong@trinseo.com. Learn more about PS safety by clicking here.

Trinseo Presents on Safety for Food Contact Plastic Packaging

Trinseo Presents on Safety for Food Contact Plastic Packaging

Trinseo Presents on Safety for Food Contact Plastic Packaging

About Trinseo

Trinseo (NYSE:TSE) is a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber with a focus on delivering innovative, sustainable, and value-creating products that are intrinsic to our daily lives. Trinseo is dedicated to making a positive impact on society by partnering with like-minded stakeholders, and supporting the sustainability goals of our customers in a wide range of end-markets including automotive, consumer electronics, appliances, medical devices, packaging, footwear, carpet, paper and board, building and construction, and tires. Trinseo had approximately $3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees. For more information, please visit: www.trinseo.com.

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