The Sate Duma: a ban on PET containers – the green light has been given (2014-01-13)

According to the government’s position concerning the necessity of imposing restrictions on PET containers (refer to the government of the RF will place restrictions on industrial filling of alcohol into plastic containers over 1.5 l. A deputy Mikhail Tarasenko (United Russia Party) introduced a bill to the State Duma. A ban on retail sale of alcohol in plastic containers will conduce to lowering of the alcohol level in the country.

The deputy Mikhail Tarasenko introduced a bill to the State Duma even in May of the last year and in autumn a group of his colleagues and a Deputy Speaker Alexander Torshin endorsed the bill but until now no further action hasn’t been taken because in May 2012 there was a two-year moratorium on enacting a prohibition against using PET containers as it was agreed with our Union, Vice Prime Minister Zubkov V.A. and the Federation Council.

Unfortunately our efforts were neglected by the representatives of the brewing business. Even more, the Union of Russian Brewers put voluntary limits on PET containers over 2.5 l. in order to “sweeten” the situation by limiting containers capacity that has never been used by the companies – members of the Union of Russian Brewers.

According to the data from informed circle this project will probably be approved within a spring parliament session (it will continue till the end of July).

Under this bill it is planning to impose a ban on retail sales of alcohol in polymer consumer containers over 1.5 l. Moving forward we are expecting a ban on alcohol in plastic containers over 0.5 l. If the bill is passed it will come into force in January 1, 2015. By the author’s opinion the necessity of this bill is generated by the giant alcohol consumption especially among young people. A considerable proportion of the “light” alcohol is packaged in plastic “vessels” by volume of 1 or more litres. By creator’s reasons a low price for plastic containers leads to excessive alcohol affordability and containers capacity results in extra consumption.

According to the data from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation third part of young men and 20% of girls drink alcohol including beer every day. Percent of Russian citizens regularly drinking beer and beer cocktails exceeded 76%. According to alcohol sales structure the share of beer is 79% and for the last 15 years its production increased to 2,9 times. At the same time strong alcohol consumption is also increasing. So statistically average Russian constantly drinks killing “yorsh” from vodka, beer and alcohol “fizz” with colourants – and our government is trying to wean of it by the limiting big plastic containers.

The Federal Law “On the State Regulation of the Production and Circulation of Ethyl Alcohol and Alcoholic and Alcohol-Containing Products and Placing Restrictions on Alcohol Consumption” is in the process of amending. The article 7 will be changed and new wording of this article will be as follows: “retail sale of alcohol in polymer (polyethylene and polystyrene) consumer containers over 500 millilitres is banned from January 1, 2014. But the original version contained a figure of 0.5 l. and the final version will be changed to 1.5 l. Authors are ready to reach a compromise.

By the opinion of Mikhail Tarasenko this document is against people’s alcoholism, it conforms to offers of different research institutions related to the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation who conducted special investigations. According to the laboratory results of the Institute of Environmental Problems and Evolution and Biochemical Physics Institute, using of plastic containers is unhealthy (due to carcinogen activation). “In many foreign countries alcohol in big plastic containers is prohibited because harmful substances causing chronic diseases can activate in polymer containers,” Tarasenko said. The government supported this idea. Besides, legislative bodies advise to include some regulations directed to reducing of alcohol percentage in alcohol-containing products in polymer containers for retail sales – in other words to prohibit strong beer in PET containers completely.

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