Exclusive interview with Dr Michael Warhurst, Executive Director of CHEM Trust UK

We caught up with Dr Michael Warhurst from CHEM Trust about the challenges of EU laws on food contact chemicals and about the possibility of a more harmonised approach in the future ahead of this year's P&P conference.

Could you give us a quick snapshot of what you’ll be discussing during your presentation?
During my presentation I will address the challenges regarding EU’s laws on chemicals in food contact as they do not properly cover many types of materials (including when they are recycled, it is not properly linked up to the REACH system, for instance. I will show how the EU’s regulatory system is not ready to deal with any shift of the market away from plastics (which do have harmonised regulation) towards paper and card (which do not have harmonised regulation).

What would CHEM Trust like to see in terms of a reformed regulatory approach in food contact materials?
I consider that it would be important to address effective regulation of chemicals in all food contact materials, including those made of recycled materials. In addition, it would be relevant some decision making involving closer integration with REACH, including promoting substitution, and regulatory action on groups of concern and mixtures. Lastly, it is necessary processes to address both food contact materials and articles.

What would the industry benefit from the P&P Conference 2018?
I would hope that companies will come away with a richer understanding of the need for a new regulatory approach.