A new German packaging law could be the catalyst for mass production of PET beer bottles, as discount chain operator Aldi in Germany announces its intention to drop beer cans for PET bottles.

Under the deposit law, which charges German retailers for the return of beverage packs, PET beer bottles will cost Aldi less to return than beer cans.

Ironically, PET bottles for beer have so far been limited to specialist applications, held back by the unfavourable cost comparison to glass and cans. The PET drinks pack industry has been waiting for a serious volume commitment from a major producer and Aldi’s move could open the floodgates.

Says Phil Gunning, vice president sales and marketing Amcor PET Packaging Europe/Asia: “We have always been confident that PET is poised to achieve wholesale market penetration for beer packaging. We believe Aldi’s announcement will go a long way to making this happen.”

There are currently more than 20 beer brands that have been launched in multi-layer PET on the European market, including Karlsberg, Holsten and Tucher in Germany. Amcor claims to pack over half of these in its AmGuard product with Bind-Ox active barrier technology.