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Tuesday 17.01.2017 | Name days: Tenis, Dravis
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Beer producers urge government not to ban 2 litre bottles

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s beer industry urges Saeima deputies to have another look at the idea proposed by the National Economy Committee to prohibit sales of beer in 2 litre PET bottles. Deputies are asked to forward this idea for discussion to another Saeima sub-committee.

According to experience of other countries, such restrictions do not yield desired results – alcohol consumption does not go down, as consumers often turn their attention to other alcoholic drinks. Once restrictions on 2 litre PET bottles for beer came into force in Lithuania, for example, wine packaged in 2 litre PET bottles quickly replaced beer.

«We believe it is necessary to carefully analyse and assess the trends of Latvia’s beer market and Lithuania’s experience in enforcing such a restriction. In Latvia, the share of the country’s beer market that uses PET packages has been declining by 3 – 4% annually since 2010. There is no need for any more involvement from the side – the industry is capable of managing itself. Also, unlike strong drink producers, whose market share and revenue continue to increase, Latvia’s beer market share has been declining constantly for the past four years. After the introduction of the ban on 2 litre PET packages in Lithuania, beer sales had declined only for a short time. In addition, consumers switched to other alcoholic drink segments,» – admits president of Latvia’s Beer Brewers Association Inara Sure.

The beer industry supports politicians’ efforts to reduce excessive consumption of alcohol in the country. However, such efforts should be performed in a balanced and reasonable way to avoid unjustifiably restricting only a single or a couple of types of alcoholic drinks. It is also highly important to review other instruments to help with the situation, including more careful control of illegal alcohol, youth education, etc. Representatives of Latvia’s Healthcare Ministry have also mentioned the importance of making sure the solution is more complex than simply banning 2 litre PET bottles.

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