· The German folding box industry produces around 500,000t folding boxes every year which come to be used as food packaging. The majority of these folding boxes consist of cardboard made from recycled fibres, made from raw materials from waste paper sources (newspapers, magazines and used packaging made from card and corrugated cardboard).
· Hammer GmbH processes recycled cardboard into folding boxes in accordance with the current valid regulations (incl. Rcommendation from the BfR [German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment] XXXVI), which are aimed at the status of technology and current scientific knowledge.
· The raw materials of paper/card/cardboard implemented in the production of packaging and consumer goods made from paper, card and cardboard intended to come into contact with food comply with recommendation XXXVI – Paper and Board for Food Contact &ndash of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in its currently valid version. (Recommendation XXXVI is valid for paper, card and cardboard which come into contact with food products.) The highest recommended amounts of paper raw materials, manufacturing aids and paper finishing materials are based on the risk assessments carried out by the BfR, which is advised in the creation of recommendations by its expert committee.
According to prevailing opinions of the authorities, scientists, and the industry, the unique (German) BfR Recommendation XXXVI – which has also been implemented in many other EU member states – has been recognised as a valid national regulation in the sense of, and in fulfilment of the general specifications of European Regulation 1935/2004, until the EU Commission brings a “specific measure” for paper, card and cardboard for food contact into effect.
· Hammer GmbH ensures that, for every single production order we receive that involves foodstuff commodities, only those folding boxes will be used where the cardboard manufacturer carries a confirmation of accordance with BfR Recommendation XXXVI.
· In the most recent investigations of cardboard-packaged foodstuffs carried out by the Cantonal Laboratory of Zurich, traces of mineral oils were discovered which result from the use of recycled paper fibres in the production of the cardboard. These oils are found in newspaper inks and were able to make their way into folding boxes production via the process of recycling.
· The Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) has taken up this issue and invited the affected industrial associations to a discussion on 24 February 2010. There, the concrete steps to be taken by authorities and the industry as a result of these investigations will be advised upon.
· Via the FFI Fachverband Faltschachtel-Industrie and the WPV Wirtschaftsverbände Papierverarbeitung, our company is in close contact with the manufacturers of cardboard, printing inks, the publishers and the packaging industry in finding a common solution for this problem. All those involved bear responsibility for products which are safe for human health and which ensure the economically-sustainable continuation of the recycling of paper, card and cardboard.
· There are currently no findings which suggest a definite danger to the consumer.