Plastic packaging made for food contact needs rigorous quality management processes to deliver peace of mind and confidence.

Since the first industrial production of polyethylene(PE) in the late 1930's, its use in applications involving the storage, transport, cooking and preservation of food has grown enormously. Glad Wrap TM, ice cream pails, take-away containers, milk cartons, Tupperware TM and bread bags are just a small selection of familiar everyday articles manufactured from polyethylene designed for use with food.

PE is an ideal material for producing these articles since it confers packaging lightness, transparency, low permeability, toughness, is inexpensive, prolongs shelf life, prevents contamination and above all, will not detrimentally alter the characteristics of the food it comes into contact with.

As a key supplier of polyethylene (PE) in Australia, Qenos understands the importance of packaging suitable for food contact. Approximately 90 per cent of Qenos PE grades manufactured are designed to comply with the relevant Australian Standard for food contact (AS2070). To give some perspective regarding the importance of managing food contact suitability, it is worth considering that a single truckload of polyethylene manufactured at Qenos will produce half a million two litre milk bottles!

A breach in food contact suitability could have significant ramifications for customers and consumers. Qenos commits significant organisational effort to ensure that food contact approved Qenos PE is always fit for purpose for food contact applications.

Australian Standard AS 2070 "Plastics Materials for Food Contact Use" directly applies to the PE that Qenos produces. This standard requires new plastics materials used in the manufacture of items for food contact to comply with either the relevant United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Code of Federal Regulations or the relevant European Commission directives. Information regarding the food contact suitability of Qenos PE grades can be found in our technical datasheets available on the Qenos website.

Qenos has a comprehensive and overarching food contact policy and a specific Food Contact Compliance Committee (QFCCC), comprised of key personnel and internal and external experts. The committee implements the Food Contact policy across Qenos and its activities include: evaluating new production technologies and new polyethylene formulations; verifying correct food contact representation on PE product data sheets; ratification of raw material supplier food contact documentation; and consideration of incidental components that contact Qenos PE during production.

Ensuring the suitability of plastic packing for food contact is a vitally important for food processing companies and Australian consumers. Getting it right requires significant vigilance and effort, and is part of Qenos's business every day to deliver confidence and peace of mind.