from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – KENYA’S Alcohol Beverage Association (ABAK) has denounced a bill that could limit the packaging of alcoholic products in containers of 750 millilitres (quart) or more.
Member of Parliament (MP) Danson Mwakuwona has made the proposal, which seeks to amend the Alcohol Drinks Control Act of 2010.
The private member’s bill is guided by the rationale that this would reduce the misuse of alcohol and curb underage drinking.
Mwakuwona’s bill also proposes that consumers be forced to pay a cash deposit whenever they intend to purchase alcoholic drinks packed in glass containers.
ABAK slammed the proposals.
“We believe this is an outrageous, retrogressive proposal that has no place in our developing economy today and we are opposed to the proposals in the Bill,” Gordon Mutugi, ABAK chairman, said.
The association argues the elimination of the option to sell alcohol packed in smaller packages would force those who cannot affordable quality alcoholic beverages sold in larger packaging to seek illicit and unhealthy alternatives.
These include the purchase of alcohol in bulk and sharing it into smaller containers or consuming contraband alcohol from neighbouring countries.
Another argument is that the imposition of a deposit requirement on glass containers will force manufacturers to pack alcoholic beverages in polyethylene terephthalate (plastic) bottles.
Plastic, which is non-biodegradable, has a negative impact on the environment and human health.
ABAK believes the proposed bill, if passed into law, would cripple an industry already affected by the effects of the coronavirus.
– CAJ News