Beer in plastics – is this the future?


Draught beer poured forth from a Carlsberg keg lined with a vacuum-packed plastic bag at a barbecue last weekend. I watched as the empty “DraughtMaster” keg was refilled with another plastic pouch after the thirsty guests had finished the first five litres.

Is this a major advance in polymer technology?

“Plastic beer bottles are the Holy Grail for the plastics industry,” said Peter Taffe, my fellow trainer at the ICIS Training Seminars in Amsterdam last week.

The question of whether beer can go into plastic bottles has been racking the brains of polymer scientists and holds the key to boosting plastics and hence petrochemical demand growth past the current modest 4-5% a year. (Read all about it in the A-Z of Materials.)

“The German consumer will never accept beer in plastic bottles,” Peter said, and the students of the training course nodded in agreement.

In the interests of research the Blog has trawled the shelves of London supermarkets, finding soft drinks, cider and even wine in plastic (PET and HDPE) bottles, but no beer in sight.

Could plastic-lined beer kegs be the thin end of the wedge for the beer/plastics combo?

The Blog Beer Watch campaign begins here.

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3 Responses to Beer in plastics – is this the future?

  1. Ally 12 November, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    I’ve seen drinks like smirnoff ice that are usually in glass bottles in plastic ones at gigs. I’m not sure if they had beer similarly or not, but people have it out of plastic cups. Presumably so people don’t throw the bottles at the band (or eachother).

  2. H Simpson 13 November, 2007 at 4:06 pm #

    What about shandy in a PET bottle – does that count?

  3. Peter 24 November, 2008 at 9:08 am #

    I saw this on ICIS news and maybe there is a future for the PET beer bottle.

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