25 March 2013 16:37 [Source: ICIS news]
MOSCOW (ICIS)--Russia’s chemical lobbying group has voiced opposition to the re-emergence of plans to limit the use of bottle-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in beer packaging.
Russia’s Chemical Union urged the authorities to refrain from placing any restrictions on the use of PET. In a statement released on Monday, the Union said the latest research data indicate that food safety concerns cannot justify a PET ban. Previous data from the consumer protection agency indicated that the use of PET in beer packaging was not 100% safe.
The beer packaging sector accounts for almost 30% of Russia’s total PET consumption, the Union's statement said. The loss of that market could deal a serious blow to domestic PET producers, entailing stoppages and lay-offs, it said. PET capacity expansion plans could also be adversely affected, the statement added.
The Russian authorities previously planned to introduce the ban from 1 July 2012, but this was delayed after there was disagreement between both Customs Union members and government agencies. However, in November 2012, after lobbying by PET producers, the Russian governmental regulator Rosalkogolregulirovaniye (RAR) put on ice the plan to ban PET packaging in beer production. However, recent lobbying by Russian metal producers keen to replace PET in beer packaging with aluminium has put the issue back on the agenda.
Meanwhile, Russia is working on a project to substitute PET imports with domestic material. In January 2012, construction began of a 486,000 tonne/year bottle-grade PET plant in Russia’s southern Kabardino-Balkaria region.
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