Trinseo (NYSE: TSE), a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, has joined government, university and industry experts at a media workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia held on January 18, 2018, presenting factual information on polystyrene (PS) resins, the raw material for making foam food services.
Trinseo offers high impact polystyrene and general purpose polystyrene products for applications like dairy, food service, ambient, deli & bakery, frozen/chilled, and more.
Plastics, especially PS foam, also commonly known as Styrofoam, are widely used as food packaging materials but the safety of the materials is of general concern. Some cities in the world have started banning PS foam foodservice, believing it is a source of solid pollution and will cause health issues. Some believe the chemical of the foodservice will migrate to food causing adverse health effects.
Recent public concerns in Indonesia have now been addressed in the media workshop, in which Trinseo experts participated, titled “We don’t think strawberries cause cancer - The Myths and Facts about Styrofoam Food Packaging.” The event goal was to present a complete picture, supported by scientific facts and figures, to relieve some unnecessary concerns and help find a better solution. The event was organized by Polimer Lestari, Laboratory of Technology of Polymer and Membrane, Institute of Technology Bandung (LTPM ITB) and Indonesian Olefin, Aromatic and Plastic Association (INAplas).
Invited to present at the event was Libby Fong, Trinseo’s Senior Product Stewardship Specialist (Hong Kong). She shared with attendees the history and current plastic food packaging regulations within and beyond Indonesia, including those from the European Union as well as the Federal Food and Drug Administration of the U.S.
“In fact, styrene exists naturally in many foods & beverages and PS is widely accepted by governments worldwide as an approved food packaging material for decades,” said Fong. “There are abundant scientific evidences stating that styrene at typical exposure levels cause no long-term health problem.”
All speakers at the event, including Dra. Ani Rohmaniyati, Head of Sub Directorate of Standardization of Product and Hazardous Substance, the National Agency for Drug and Food Control, Republic of Indonesia, share the same view as Fong.
The workshop, attracting dozens of media from various channels such as TV, radio, online, newspapers and magazines in Indonesia, was very well received. Attending media participated actively during the 30-minute interactive panel Q&A session. Subsequent media coverage will enable the general public to have a better understanding of the topics discussed.
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