Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Far Eastern selling plastic beer bottles


Far Eastern Group (遠東集團), which controls Taiwan’s biggest textile company, has begun selling the nation’s first beer in plastic bottles.

The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles Far Eastern makes “took much work to develop” so they can keep the flavor of beer, chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) told reporters in Taipei yesterday.

The group will sell the drinks bottled in a Far Eastern venture in Suzhou, he said.

At present, beer in Taiwan is mostly sold in glass bottles or aluminum cans, as traditional PET containers allow in too much oxygen, reducing the shelf life of the drinks.

Far Eastern’s PET bottles, produced with a coating to stop gas permeation, have the advantage of being lighter than glass containers and can be recycled, Hsu said.

The group controls Far Eastern Textile Ltd (遠東紡織), Taiwan’s biggest textile company, and Oriental Union Chemical Corp (東聯化學), which produces material used to make PET bottles.

Far Eastern will ship beer from Sino Belgium Beer (Suzhou) Ltd (中比啤酒), its joint venture with Belgium-based Brouwerij Martens, to the Taiwan market, said Fanny Liao, managing director at the Chinese company.

Taiwan’s NT$9 billion (US$273 million) per year beer market is dominated by Taiwan Beer, which is produced by state-run Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corp (台灣菸酒), Liao said.

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