AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, has created its own trademark to certify that reusable food packaging is safe and retains its functional properties after repeated wash cycles.

AIMPLAS says it developed the Designed to be Reusable trademark based on Regulation (EC) 1935/2004, Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011, and Regulation (EC) No 282/2008, as well as the recently issued dishwasher resistance standard UNE 53928:2020. The organisation adds that it drew on over 30 years of experience in the food packaging sector and its laboratories to develop the trademark aimed at the plastics industry.

The trademark reportedly certifies that a product is designed to be safely reused after several washes and that it has passed the tests required for a product to be considered reusable in terms of food safety. AIMPLAS says that the trademark also validates the product’s functionality.

According to AIMPLAS, the tests a product must pass before being awarded the trademark include dishwasher resistance testing for at least five dishwasher cycles, a non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) risk assessment, and migration tests to guarantee migration to food does not present a risk to human health. Sensory tests are also carried out to ensure that the reuse of packaging does not modify food’s organoleptic characteristics, the organisation adds.

AIMPLAS claims that the trademark offers packaging companies a competitive edge in terms of transparency and food safety, while also enabling the promotion of reusable solutions that can help to reduce waste, resource use, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Recent research from Hubbub found that 38% of respondents are worried that reusable packaging might not be clean or hygienic, while 26% were also concerned about scratches, stains, or damage. The environmental charity suggests that material and legislative solutions that address such concerns could help with the scaling of reusable solutions.