The country's apex food regulator has banned the use of recycled plastic or newspaper and magazine pages for packaging of food items. The decision has been made in respect of health risks because packaging material pose issues related to health. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has framed new food packaging regulations which are in the process of being notified, to be enforceable from July 1, 2019. According to the statement given by CEO FSSAI Pawan Agarwal, Packaging of Food Regulations have been sent for publishing and will raise the bar for food safety in India. He added that packaging is termed to be an integral part of the process and therefore the regulations have been framed to address it the same.
Taking into account the important of packaging in the food industry and the revolution that packaging has given to the industry is incredible but New regulation replace the Food Safety and regulations, 2011. Besides general and specific requirement for packaging material, the regulations also prescribe overall and specific migration limits of contaminants for plastic packaging material. There is specific list of packing material for different food product categories. One of the main agenda behind food regulator is the malpractices in the unorganized sector which was found to be making use of hazardous packaging material in the surveys that were commissioned by the regulator.
Out of the 380 samples picked from the unorganised sector, 51 samples were found to be non-conforming, taking overall rate to 13.4% , according to the survey conducted by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The food items in these instances were found contaminated even with heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and other hazardous packaging material.