Shortcoming: Migration of Plasticizers

Bremen, September 2022 - A national testing campaign revealed such high levels of plasticizers in around a quarter of the foods containing oils in glass jars with PVC lid seals that they had to be objected to and withdrawn from sale. We are talking about the control campaign just concluded by the cantonal chemists of Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, who regularly carry out such tests with the aim of raising awareness of the problems associated with plasticizers and effective self-regulation. This is because the plasticizers used in lid seals made of PVC can be absorbed by foods containing a high proportion of oil due to their chemical properties. These contaminants are considered avoidable and are therefore undesirable. Overall exposure to plasticizers must be kept as low as possible in line with the precautionary principle. For this reason, reduction measures must also be taken and maximum levels complied with for foodstuffs and their packaging, according to the food control authorities, who once again had to reject too many samples due to the use of unsuitable sealing materials and, in some cases, extensive contamination with plasticizers.
In Germany, too, such tests are regularly carried out by independent institutes and often produce similar results. The question that needs to be asked here is: In times of countless discussions about safe and environmentally-friendly packaging, how are such results still being achieved? After all, it’s not as if there are no alternatives.
The control campaign is not the only one to establish that there are definitely products whose lid seals are not made of PVC. These are uncritical in terms of plasticizer migration, available for both twist-off and press-on twist-off (P/T) closures, and in all the usual sizes on the market. Available from most closure manufacturers, they are extensively tested and qualified for all applications. These PVC-free sealing materials developed by Actega have been on the market for the past ten years under the brand name PROVALIN® and offer other benefits besides preventing migration of plasticizers into food.
When manufacturing PVC-free closures, liquid sealants containing PVC do not need to be dried in the drying ovens during closure production. This reduces energy consumption and avoids CO2 emissions. Closure manufacturer Pano can, for example, save around 500 tons of CO2 annually in the production of PVC-free lug caps. Following the strategy of "CO2 reduction before CO2 compensation", the company exclusively uses PROVALIN® sealing materials from Actega for the production of its PVC-free lug caps. The closure is very easy to recognize as a PVC-free closure because of the blue sealing ring.
Although the topic of plasticizer migration has been known for a long time and many major distributors and larger food manufacturers already rely on PVC-free lid seals for a range of products, the control campaign concluded that these alternatives are still underused.
Packaging should protect food, preserve it, present it in an appetizing way, and provide space for information and consumer recognition. But: environmentally-harmful manufacturing and disposal problems in the production of packaging materials should be minimized, and critical components that could transfer from them to food or other filling goods should be eliminated. Actega made this its maxim early on and has been focusing on PVC- and plasticizer-free sealants for beverage and food packaging for decades. A growing awareness of the need to be PVC-free has enabled the PROVALIN® family to grow to a large number of variants for all standard market applications. This also applies to the highly-sensitive area of baby food, where mainly press-on twist-off closures are used. Here, ACTGreen® PROVALIN® is the only PVC-free solution on offer. It is recognizable by the green ring in the seal.
Conclusion: Compliant instead of non-compliant. Complaints, non-compliance and withdrawal from sale are avoided by choosing a PVC-free lid seal. Thus creating sustainable added value with PROVALIN®.
Press contact: !Wir: Kommunikation und Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Dagmar Schumann, Carl-Cohn-Str. 77, 22297 Hamburg, +49 40 37417237, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ACTEGA is a division of the internationally operating specialty chemicals group ALTANA. With production facilities in Europe, North and South America and China, ACTEGA develops, produces and distributes specialty coatings, inks, adhesives and sealing compounds with a focus on the packaging industry. Following the motto "Packed with Expertise", ACTEGA does not only offer technically sophisticated product solutions, but also meets the high safety standards of the food, beverages, pharmaceutical and toy industries. Whether for flexible and metal packaging, folding cartons or labels, products by ACTEGA provide packaging with a high-quality appearance and innovative functionalities.