Russia. State Duma plans to ban beer in plastic bottles

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The Russian Duma plans to ban beer in PET plastic bottles by 2013, which accounts for nearly half of the Russian beer market. Before the second reading in the Russian State Duma the draft of this ban was incorporated in the so-called “beer law “, as reported by Russian media. Reasoning is said to be a standardization of legislation in the Russian-Kazakh-Belarusian customs union. Kazakhstan already has a similar ban in place. Market observers see the real reason rather in the wider battle against alcohol abuse in Russia since PET bottles are usually sold in sizes of 1.5 and 2 liters. The authorities believe that the availability of cheap beer in bigger package sizes is one of the reasons for the widespread alcohol abuse in Russia.

The controversial “beer law” further provides to prohibit the sale of beer at kiosks and mobile sales stands completely and in all other premises between 23 and 8 clock. Russian industry representatives fear a massive decline in sales should the law in its present form come into effect.

In Russia beer is currently sold to 48% in PET bottles, to 34 percent in glass bottles and to 17 percent in cans.