Scientific and regulatory issues regarding bamboo and wood in food contact materials (FCMs) and food contact articles (FCAs)

In this article we focus on food contact materials made or derived from wood and bamboo, as well as other composite materials including plastic and plant-fibre composites, which are becoming increasingly popular. Some of these composites are sometimes described as bioplastics promoted as an alternative to traditional non-biodegradable plastics derived from petroleum. As at the original publication date of this article (August 2023), the term "bioplastics" lacks a clear definition and can encompass materials made from renewable sources (bio-based), those designed to naturally degrade (biodegradable), or a combination of both. Some blends of plant-based materials with synthetic materials (composites), including some cellulose and bamboo products, are also being marketed as bioplastics.