Mumbai Local

Govt rules out plastic liquor bottles

Police inspect the spot spurious alcohol was made in Malwani—Photoi: PTI  

The large number of deaths in 2014 due to consumption of spurious liquor has forced the State government to ban use of plastic in the sale of alcohol across the State. The government is now making the use of glass bottles in distillation of spirits and manufacturing of potable liquor mandatory.

Citing health and environmental concerns, the State’s decision comes in the wake of as many as 359 losing their lives to illicit liquor in 2014.

The State Home Department on Monday issued a government resolution (GR) that makes it mandatory to use glass bottles in the sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and Domestic Liquor, and has banned the use of plastic pouches and bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and tetrapak from April 1, 2016.

The move is likely to affected 10 per cent of total alcohol sales in Maharashtra, with manufacturers likely to increases prices to make up for the more expensive glass packaging, officials said.

While issuing the orders, the government said it has taken feedback from environmental organisations and activists seriously. Both, it said, have pointed to the dangerous leaching effect of plastic when storing alcohol and serious environmental concerns in disposal.

The leaching effects of plastic and plastic chemical substances (such as ethylene glycol) have the tendency to leach considerably into alcohol stored if the temperature goes up during storage, the order said. While a glass bottle has higher resistance to leaching due to dealkalization process it undergoes, plastic remains vulnerable.

“On the environment front, PET bottles are hard to dispose. According to complaints from civic bodies, these are blocking sewage lines and storm water drains in several cities. On the health side, we can’t take chances with these while storing alcohol at high temperatures and in dingy bars,” said a senior Home Department official.

The amendments were made to the Maharashtra Distillation of Spirit and Manufacture of Potable Liquor Rules, 1966, and will be implemented as per the guidelines of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). “All glass bottles must be embossed with ‘For Sale in Maharashtra State Only’. Glass bottles don’t pasteurize, unlike plastic. We believe that glass being more expensive may not impact costs,” a senior state official said.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 10:22:56 PM |

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