Minimum alcohol package raised to 750ml in new Bill

Bad News to Alcohol Lovers as Proposed Bill Seeks to Increase Packaging to 750ML

A proposed Bill if passed by Parliament will illegalize the sale of alcoholic drinks in bottles of less than 750 millilitres.

The proposal by Wundanyi Member of Parliament Danson Mwakuwona if it goes through will trigger an increase in the prices of beer and spirits making it even harder for a bigger section of Kenyans to afford.

Bill seeks to increase alcohol packaging
Technicians inspect beer bottles at a brewery. Image/Courtesy

“The principal object of this Bill is to amend the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, in order to ensure that packaging of alcoholic drinks are in quantities not below 750 millilitres,” reads part of the Bill tabled in Parliament.

The Bill is designed to curb the sale of alcoholic drinks in small packages that have been blamed for fuelling consumption among the youth.

And with the beer bottle size proposed to increase from the current 250ml, firms such as the East Africa Breweries Limited will be forced to order for fresh bottles, readjust their production lines and increase the average cost of beer from the current Sh190 to at least Sh285 a bottle.

“This is in order to deal with the menace of excessive drinking occasioned by the sale of very low quantities of alcoholic drinks, making it accessible to the youth,” further reads the Bill.

The lowest quantities of beer brands like Tusker Lite and Tuborg are packaged in 350 millilitres and sell at an average of Sh190 per bottle.

The proposed law looks set to make Kenya’s packaging threshold one of the highest and could force glass makers and brewers to reorganize their production lines in a multimillion-shilling revamp to accommodate the larger bottles.

Those in breach of the packaging rule face a fine of Sh50,000, a jail term of six months or both, says the Bill.

EABL on Monday said that the new packaging rule will make alcohol expensive for low-income earners and hit the listed firm that is struggling to navigate restrictions imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.


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