Plastic bottle manufacturers in Africa will face huge losses as distillers begin to comply with the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act 2010, which only allows sale of spirits in glass bottles.

Under the Act, commonly known as the Mututho law, the sale, manufacture, packing or distribution of alcoholic drinks in sachets or containers with a volume of less than 250ml, will be prohibited.

The ban on plastic containers in the alcohol industry could render investments worth Sh4bn and would limit production by the distillers.

The recent Economic Survey 2011 revealed that the manufacturing index for plastic products increased by 2.2%, compared with 2009, and for glass and clay products reduced by 2.4%.

Production of clay and glass products dropped for the fourth consecutive year, driven by a 2.7% decline in the production of glass bottles in 2010.

Glass manufacturers, however, have said that there is more than enough capacity in the market, attributing the fears by distillers to resistance to change.