MOSCOW (June 25, 12:40 p.m. ET) — Leading Russian PET packaging producers have called on the Russian government to block a ban on PET beer bottles in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The companies claim the ban will result in thousands of workers losing their jobs.
The Russian government proposed a ban on PET beer packaging last year as an attempt to curb drinking in the country.
According to the Russian business paper RBC, several PET packaging companies have challenged the ruling, including Naberezhnye Chelny, Nalchik, Krasnodar and Saratov.
The market share of PET packaging in Russia is currently estimated at 50 percent and, according to Russian analysts, a ban may also have a negative impact on the water and soft drinks businesses. It is also expected to hurt local producers of polymer raw materials.
Alexander Melnikov, commercial director at Europlast, a Russian plastic packaging producer, a ban will put the clock back by 5-6 years in the industry.
The same opinion is shared by Vladislav Kuznetsov, CEO of Sibur-PET, one of Russia's largest producers of PET resin.
In the meantime, the world's largest beer producers, operating in Russia, have also warned that the transition to glass containers will result in an increase of beer prices in Russia by 15 percent, which, in turn, may result in a drop of beer sales in Russia by two times and the increase of the share of strong spirits.