On August 1 BRCGS launched the Global Standard for Packaging Materials Issue 6 – and it is not just the name that was subject to a change. In the following, we will present you a summary of the changes.
The new BRCGS Packaging Materials – Issue 6 includes six major changes: two key changes concerning the protocol and four key changes regarding the requirements of the former Packaging and Packaging materials – Issue 5 certification.
Changes to the Protocol
- Removing the second hygiene category
In Issue 5 there were two categories of requirements, depending on the intended use of the packaging material – high hygiene and basic hygiene. Removing the two-category system simplifies the use of the new standard. The differing hygiene levels will be replaced by a risk-based approach, based on only one set of requirements. Some requirements will have a higher or differing level of hygiene that applies to “food contact materials”.
- Removing second/split unannounced audit option
Version 5 of the BRCGS Global Standard for Packaging offered three audit options: Full announced audit, full unannounced audit, and split unannounced audit. The last one divided the audit requirements into two separate audits, the first one unannounced and the second one announced. Reflecting that the full unannounced audit option is generally preferred because it gives extra confidence to specifiers, Issue 6 will be in line with Issue 8 of the Food Standard by removing the split unannounced audit option. Unannounced audits remain optional.
Changes to the Requirements
- Corrective and preventive action: fundamental clause
The new version of the standard integrates specific requirements on corrective and preventive action (CAPA) related to root cause analysis into a structured continuous improvement approach. This way the root cause analysis is assembled in one paragraph, in line with Issue 8 of the Food Standard, emphasizing the importance of addressing issues with the intent to remove the risk of reoccurrence and supporting continuous improvement. This is a fundamental clause, which means that sites that have not implemented this clause cannot be certified. The fundamental clauses are marked with “FUNDAMENTAL”.
- Emphasis on product quality
BRCGS Packaging Materials is not just a hygiene standard – its scope covers both product safety as well as product quality. Issue 6 places even more emphasis on product quality and clearly distinguishes between safety and quality.In the hazard and risk analysis (HARA), Issue 6 separates hazards into product safety and quality defects to improve control measures necessary to prevent, eliminate or reduce each product quality hazard to acceptable levels (2.2.6).
- Product safety and quality culture
Issue 6 emphasises the importance of the culture at a site. It does so by introducing a new clause (1.1.2). The clause requires sites to set up, execute and review an action plan to improve product safety and quality culture. This does not imply that the auditor will assess the culture of the organization, but rather that (s)he examines the efforts made to document the status of the organisational culture and the steps that are put in place to improve it.
- Pellet, flake and powder control in the plastic industry
Section 8 of the BRCGS Packaging Materials – Issue 6 acknowledges the importance of raw material management in the packaging industry with the intention to remove new plastic contamination from food supply chain. This regards the removal of risks of cumulative chemical contamination of the human food chain and removing the risk of starvation of fish and marine mammals. Section 8 is applicable to the conversion of polymer from pellet, the use of flake or powder and the use of hot melt glues, particle raw materials etc.
Here you can download the new standard.
After the publication of the new BRCGS Packaging Materials – Issue 6 on August 1, 2019, there is a transition period of six months. The use of Issue 6 is compulsory for all certification audits taking place from February 2020 onwards.
DQS – Your Partner for BRCGS Packaging Materials Certification
As one of the leading certification bodies for management systems and sustainability standards, DQS is your natural partner for BRCGS Packaging Materials 6 certification. With smooth audit planning, experienced auditors and in-depth audit reports, we will accompany you throughout the entire certification process.