Glass is safest for food packaging, study finds


Glass and ceramic are by far the safest food contact materials, a new study has shown. “The study shows that glass is safest among the packaging materials as it has virtually no detected chemicals and therefore is the safest for human health,” said Adeline Farrelly, secretary general of FEVE the EU federation of container glass producers.

International research published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found that nearly 3000 chemicals can potentially leak from packaging into food.  Of those chemicals, more than two thirds were identified in plastics.

The study states that 2881 Food Contact Chemicals (FCCs) have been detected, in a total of six Food Contact Material (FCMs) groups.  More than two thirds of the FCCs (1975) were identified in Plastic FCMs, followed by paper & board (887), Other FCMs (760), and multi-materials (614). The fewest FCCs were detected in metal (251) and glass & ceramic (47).

Nick Kirk, technical director for British Glass, added: ”This study has confirmed that glass is the safest packaging material for human health.  It’s becoming very clear that the food and drink industry needs to address the risks that using plastic has on our health and move to using safer materials such as glass going forward. The UK glass industry is happy to share its expertise and support those looking to make this transition from plastic to glass in order to protect consumers from chemicals leaching from the packaging material into their food and drink.”