Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl cling film has been widely and commercially used since the 1950’s to wrap and protect food.
It offers a high clarity, puncture resistant packaging solution that keeps food fresher for longer, allows for quick, visual identification and has literally revolutionised the food industry.
Benefits of PVC
• PVC clingfilm is a natural resource-based solution primarily made up of salt (40%) and vegetable oils (18%)
• Hygienic, flexible, cost-effective and safe
• High oxygen transmission rate, allowing produce to breathe naturally
• Helps to reduce food waste and improve shelf life
• Isolates food and protects flavour
• Versatile with superior cling, stretch and high strength
• Currently one of the most widely used materials for food storage
Despite its many positive attributes, vinyl cling film has also frequently been on the receiving end of criticism levelled against it over fears of migration levels, use of harmful substances and other health or safety concerns. In an effort to address these issues, the Southern African Vinyls Association (SAVA) launched a Vinyl Cling Film Compliance Framework which applies to raw material suppliers, intermediate compounders, converters or film manufacturers as well as distributors and importers of PVC cling film to the wholesale and retail markets.
“Four of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of vinyl cling film are SAVA members and have voluntary signed up to become part of our Vinyl Clingfilm Compliance Initiative. This is the first of its kind in South Africa whereby signatories of the Declaration of Compliance (DoC) confirm that all raw materials, intermediates and substances used in the manufacture of their vinyl cling film have been food approved, agree to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), agree to the use of correct and approved labelling codes together with “Intended Use“ information and agree to have their products and documents at every level in supply chain audited by an independent SAVA representative under a signed NDA,” explains Monique Holtzhausen, CEO of SAVA.
The first round of audits at Mpact, Cibapac, Mainwrap (Strand Group Developments) and Premier Attraction 114 Cc (T/A Food Packaging) have almost been concluded, with three more rounds of audits being planned. During these visits, samples of the cling films will be collected for testing to ensure compliance to health, safety and environmental standards.
Despite the worldwide difficulty of collecting post-use vinyl cling film, the Association and its members are also currently working on developing a unique collection and recycling model through VinylLoop – SAVA’s newly formed Section 18 EPR Product Responsibility Organisation for vinyl packaging.
“We believe that we are taking important strides forward that will help to clarify mis-information, separate truth from fiction and provide answers to the most frequently asked questions relating to cling film,” Monique says. As part of this drive, SAVA has invited Dario Coppola (representing Vinyl Films & Sheets Europe and Vinyls Plus) to present at the first of a series of webinars specifically on the benefits of PVC cling film.
“Dario is an international expert who will be sharing on the benefits of using vinyl cling film compared to cling film made from other polymers. He will also delve into the latest international research, as well as be on hand to engage with industry members, brand owners and retailers,” Monique explains.