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The Union of Eurasian Beverage Producers discussed with experts and business community the issue of possible restrictions on PET packaging in Kyrgyzstan

Maxim Novikov, the Chairman of the Eurasian Beverage Union, took part in the round table "Some legislative incentives for environmental initiatives in Kyrgyzstan: international practice". The event, organized with the support of the International Business Council (IBC), brought together representatives of the expert community of the EAEU countries, business and authorities.

The open dialog format allowed to review comprehensively the issues of extended producer responsibility and development of the environmental agenda. One of the key issues of the event was the discussion of the draft law proposing to restrict PET packaging on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. Experts noted that for more effective development of global environmental objectives, it is necessary to consider the launch of extended producer responsibility mechanisms at first and only after that any possible restrictions on certain types of packaging.

Maxim Novikov, the Chairman of the Union, noted that the industry shares the idea of the need to increase the level of environmental friendliness in the consumer sector, and supports the development of projects aimed at caring for the environment in the EAEU. "At the same time, we want to note that this work should be carried out progressively and coordinated with the business and consumer community to avoid serious socio-economic risks," Maxim Novikov said. — Today, Kyrgyzstan is discussing a ban on the circulation of some types of PET packaging, including one of the most popular and widespread types of packaging — PET bottles. This type of beverage packaging is not only one of the most common in the Eurasian market, but also one of the most environmentally friendly, as it can be recycled many times and thus reduce the carbon footprint. PET production complies with the existing provisions of international environmental documents, in particular, the implementation of solutions specified in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change".

It is important to take into account that the mass replacement of PET bottles at the state level will increase the level of returns in retail chains. The introduction of such a restriction will have a negative impact on the activities of enterprises, since production lines are initially designed for a specific type of packaging solution. Thus, the proposed bill will lead to a situation in which food production facilities will be forced to significantly reduce the output of finished products, as well as to increase prices for products manufactured in other packaging solutions. Deterioration of the business situation, caused by the increased regulatory burden, may lead to the loss of jobs and significant losses from the budget.

The Union of Eurasian Beverage Producers draws attention to the fact that the Russian Federation has conducted 2 studies on the feasibility of restricting the use of certain types of polymer packaging, which resulted in the list of 6 items, the restriction of turnover of which will not cause significant socio-economic and environmental losses. This experience may help to continue work in this direction in a balanced way and without prejudice to all participants of the process.

The Union of Eurasian Beverage Producers proposes to exclude the provision on banning PET on the territory of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and to support business initiatives aimed at increasing the collection and re-involvement of PET packaging in production.