What makes recycled plastic food-grade plastic?
September 21, 2021 at 7:00 AM
What makes recycled plastic food-grade plastic?

Single-use plastics have become public enemy number one in the battle for waste reduction. This means that many people across the nation and around the globe are trying to do their part in eliminating single-use plastics and making more of an effort to use recycled plastics. While this is a valiant cause, finding recycled food-grade plastic can be difficult. At Becher Plastics, we can help you identify what it takes to make recycled plastics meet standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be considered food-grade.

Recycling process

When recycling companies apply to produce food-grade recycled plastic, they must outline their entire recycling process. This includes a step-by-step breakdown of how it’s done and what is done to ensure that the plastic isn’t contaminated along the way. Contamination must be avoided every step as it can occur before collection, during processing, or even after it’s been made into a new product. The FDA is strict about compliance with regulations and requires facilities to comply with its regulations.

Tests showing removal of contaminants

Plastics that go into a recycling facility can be full of some pretty nasty stuff. Even water bottles can be filled with all kinds of dirt, grime, and gunk that you would never want to put anywhere near your food. This is why it’s crucial for a recycling facility to be able to prove that they’re able to remove all contaminants from the plastic they use for food items.

The FDA has stringent requirements that must be met when processing plastic for use with foods. First of all, a recycling facility must be able to prove that they can clean the plastic thoroughly. FDA requirements state that plastics must be clean enough that the dietary concentration (DC) cannot exceed 0.5 ppb. This means that for every one billion particles, there can be only one-half of a particle of contaminants. This required concentration makes for negligible contamination.

Description of the proposed use

Not all plastics are created the same. Some are much more durable when exposed to extreme heat but aren’t as efficient to produce as those that might not stand up to extreme temperatures. That being said, part of meeting FDA regulations states that the recycling company must state the proposed use of recycled plastic. What this means for every company is that they must establish the grade and durability of the product and match its quality with a viable use.

For instance, a company that produces hard plastics that are capable of being used for plastic cups and plates might not make a product that’s capable of being used to make candy bags. In contrast, the company that produces candy packaging might not have a type of plastic that can be used for plastic cups. The recycling facility must state what their plastics can be used for before they’re sent into final production.

Contact us to learn more

Recycling plastic to be used as food-grade plastic is not an easy process. You can learn more about how we do things here at Becher Plastics by asking our team of experts about the measures we take to ensure sanitary plastics. Get in touch by calling 920-809-4778 or send a message using our online contact form. We can answer all your inquiries and help find a way to meet your needs with recycled plastic.