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Russia overturns PET beer bottle ban proposal

By: Eugene Gerden

November 13, 2012

MOSCOW (Nov. 13, 1:15 p.m. ET) — The Russian government has abandoned its previously announced plans to impose a ban on the use of PET bottles in beer production. The federal agency has failed to find solid evidence that PET containers harm human health.

The potential ban was perhaps the most controversial provision of the draft of technical regulations on safety of alcoholic products, designed for the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The proposal provoked violent protests from the majority of beer producers, which bottle up to half of their products in plastic packaging, as well as manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials.

According to analysts of Ernst & Young, currently brewing industry consumes about 30 percent of the PET produced in Russia.

The ban would have a negative impact on the domestic beer industry and result in a decline of production by more than 20 percent (to 708 million decalitres).

In addition, imposition of a ban would have a negative impact on the Russian petrochemical industry.