Brand owners want to sell their confectionary product packaging applications in the EU to increase their revenue and offer their products’ benefits to more consumers. However, they must have EU-compliant packaging to do so. This compliance can be challenging for packaging converters to achieve and may cause concerns about the potential for:
- Increased qualification steps
- Heightened logistics issues
- Elevated production and performance problems
Fortunately, the right cold seal adhesive grades for confectionary packaging can help alleviate these concerns, making it easy to achieve EU compliance and increase brand owners’ revenue.
What is EU Compliance?
The European Union created a set of product guidelines and regulations designed to improve the safety and sustainability for packaged goods within their countries. Within those guidelines are two regulations that pertain to confectionary food packaging:
Regulation 1935/2004/EC applies to the overall manufactured product and processes. It specifically addresses the rules for plastic materials' safe usage when coming into contact with food and includes specifications about:
- Adhesives holding together layers of plastics
- Any printed or coated plastic materials within the plastic layers
It also cites that any additives in either the plastic materials or the food substance must not change the food composition in an unacceptable manner.
Regulation 10/2011/EU specifies the raw materials that can be used in a packaging component, including the raw materials for developing a cold seal adhesive. It also includes clarification on what monomers and additives can be used in food contact plastic materials and provides limitations on the amount of plastic materials that can be transferred to food from the packaging, known as the overall migration limit.
For confectionary packaging converters in the U.S., they must:
- Obtain a Declaration of Compliance (DoC) from their material suppliers, assuming they are the ones seeking EU compliance. (If the brand owner is, then the brand owner must obtain it.) This certifies the regulations listed above have been successfully met to prove EU compliance and is required for each component used in the packaging.
- Ensure the packaging materials are all labeled “for food contact” when being transported to the brand owner
Failure to meet these guidelines and regulations could result in a fine or product recall. Therefore, it’s imperative that EU compliance is followed for every packaging aspect.
How the Right Cold Seal Adhesives Help Achieve EU Compliance
Understandably, converters have concerns about EU compliance. Below are three top concerns and how the right cold seal adhesives help.
Concern #1: Increased qualification steps
A qualification process with a trial is required for a packaged food product to achieve EU compliance. Typically, the qualification process includes checking how the cold seal’s age performance with EU-compliant materials compares to its performance with non-EU-compliant materials. While it often depends on the working relationship between the brand owner and converter in terms of who handles these steps, many converters are hesitant to produce material for the trial process that won’t actually be sold. They are also concerned that the added steps will involve more downtime without a guaranteed certification.
The right cold seal adhesives are commercially-available products, not experimental. This means they’ve already passed testing, and converters can move faster in making the switch to EU-compliant cold seal grades. Converters can also receive in-house testing with adhesive experts. This again helps expedite their processes, ensuring their customers the right technology will offer sufficient bonding results and reduce potential for issues upfront.
Concern #2: Elevated production and performance problems
Many converters worry reaching EU compliance will require downtime to switch to a new product even once it’s qualified, which will further affect production costs. They also are concerned that the performance won’t be the same as their previous solutions.
The right cold seal adhesives serve as drop-in solutions and run directly over existing adhesive solutions. This is because the products offer the same quality and performance as non-EU compliant cold seal grades. The EU compliant cold seals also will still meet industry standard seal performance of greater than 300 grams per inch. Further, converters do not have to purge their machines first, making for an easy switch in allowing production lines to keep running. These adhesives also enable operational cost savings by working efficiently on existing confectionary equipment. No additional equipment investment is needed.
Concern #3: Heightened logistical issues
There are multiple steps involved between converting a non-EU-compliant cold seal into film and getting the final packaged product to Europe. This calls for important attention to logistics and shipping for both converters and their brand owners. Converters may be unaware of the ways an EU-compliant cold seal could change their processes, which may seem like an intimidating challenge while trying to meet demands.
With EU-compliant cold seal adhesives, converters and their partnered brand owners can essentially cut their processes in half. Both a U.S. converter and European converter are needed when using a non EU-compliant cold seal adhesive to make film. Then, packaging facilities are needed in both the U.S. and Europe, and the final packaged product is then sold to their respective geographical locations. However, EU-compliant cold seal adhesives only require one film converter and one packaging facility. The final product can then be sold in both the U.S. and Europe. This logistics and resource reduction helps the converter consolidate processes; they do not have to complete the same steps twice for two separate continents. Additionally, it decreases the number of components being shipped around the world; instead, the brand owner only has to ship internationally once after they have the final product.
Why Choose Bostik for Your EU-Compliant Cold Seal Adhesives
Bostik’s commercially-available, EU-compliant cold seal adhesives are parallel in performance to our non-compliant grades. Additionally, not only can we provide the same water-based, cold seal grades designed for film and paper packaging materials, but we make the switch to EU-compliant grades easy in the following ways:
Dedicated support: Bostik experts will work with you directly to assist with in-person cold seal grade testing to ensure the right one is chosen for your packaging needs.
Recyclability benefits: Bostik’s EU-compliant cold seal grades are pre-qualified by HowToRecycle for store drop-off on PE film. This allows converters to still receive the same recyclability benefits they have with non EU-compliant cold seal grades, further helping you better serve your brand owners.
Robust performance: Bostik’s three EU-compliant cold seal grades match the performance of our non-compliant products, ensuring no changes to quality on your production lines. Our drop-in solutions also perform under a range of humid environmental conditions.
The following chart shows which non EU-compliant Bostik cold seal products are equal in performance to their EU-compliant counterparts:
Are you ready to explore making the switch to reaching EU compliance with your cold seal adhesives? Contact a Bostik representative today to find out how we can make the process simple and efficient.
Other helpful content about cold seal adhesives:
*Office Journal of the European Union. (2011). Regulations, 1–89. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:012:0001:0089:en:PDF.