Polyethylene Terephthalate bottles safe for pharma products

Polyethylene Terephthalate bottles safe for pharma products
Highlights

An expert committee constituted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) recently submitted a report to National Green Tribunal (NGT), saying PET bottles were safe for packaging of pharmaceutical formulations.

Hyderabad: An expert committee constituted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) recently submitted a report to National Green Tribunal (NGT), saying PET bottles were safe for packaging of pharmaceutical formulations. In the report, the committee said: “There is no conclusive, reproducible evidence to suggest that use of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) or additive used with it such as antimony for pharmaceutical packaging may leach substances beyond limits that pose threat to human health”.

It went on to say, “Within a robust regulatory system and process with clearly defined standards and requirements, the use of PET as a packaging material for pharmaceuticals can be practiced with assurance of safety.” The report also said that PET would not require use of phthalates or any plasticisers in the manufacturing process.

This finding is expected to come as a major relief to the Rs 4,000-crore Indian PET packaging industry. Of the 6 lakh tonnes of PET production, the pharmaceutical industry uses around 16 per cent, accounting for around 100,000 tonnes a year. The expert committee was constituted by MoHFW to assess the health and environmental impact due to the use of PET or plastic container for primary packaging of drug formulations.

The issue had been raised in a petition filed before the NGT by Him Jagriti Uttaranchal Welfare Society, an NGO, alleging leaching of heavy metals, phthalates and PET is also harmful for environment. Subsequently, NGT had directed the MoHFW to constitute an expert panel to study the science behind the issue. MoHFW formed the expert committee in August 2015 and appointed Prof M K Bhan, Former Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, as its chairman.

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