The European Container Glass Federation, FEVE, has welcomed the recom-mendation of the European Commission (EC) for parents to use glass baby bottles, following new rules to outlaw the use of polycarbonate baby bottles containing Bisphenol A (BPA).
On 1st March 2011, the EU Directive to ban the use of BPA in plastic infant feeding bottles took effect in EU Member States. Starting from 1st June, the ban will also cover imports of baby bottles containing the material.
The EC has taken due account of the European Food Safety Opinion of 2006, according to which, ‘infants aged three and six months fed using polycarbonate infant feeding bottles have the highest exposure to BPA’ and that this level of exposure ‘decreases once feeding from polycarbonate bottles is phased out’.
In its Directive, the EC therefore refers to glass as ‘an alternative material to polycarbonate’ because it does not contain BPA and is safe for human health as it has to comply with very strict safety requirements set out for food contact materials.
“There is now no doubt that EU Legislation considers container glass as one of the most chemically and biologically inert materials,” says Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE.
“Container glass is exempt from the EU Regulation REACH, which obliges industry to register any material or substance potentially harmful for human health and to duly inform citizens. Glass vessels are so stable that they are extensively used in toxicological tests. And glass does not need to got to landfill as it is 100% and infinitely recyclable,” Ms Farrelly adds.
In the USA, the same concerns around potential dangers for human health linked to BPA exposure have recently brought politicians Edward Markey and Senator Dianne Feinstein to re-introduce separate legislation to ban BPA in food and beverage containers and, particularly, in those destined for baby food.
Already in May 2010, the US Cancer Panel’s advice to President Obama warned against the lack of regulation on chemicals and their consequences on health and recommended – among other things – to store water in glass and microwave food in glass containers.
In the USA, glass packaging is ‘Generally Recognised as Safe’ (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration.