Since April 2014, RBS has been pushing local gin manufacturers, a budding industry of about 10 players, to start packaging their products in glass bottles of volumes ranging from 250ml, 500ml, 750ml and 1,000ml.
The manufacturers currently use plastic bottles (polyethylene terephthalate) in packaging of the gin products mainly consumed by low income earners with the price of the smallest gin bottle costing less than Rwf400.
The standards body claims that the plastic bottles are poisonous, hence pose health risks to consumers. RSB has thus given the manufacturers until next month to have complied.
The claim that plastics are poisonous is contested by the manufacturers, who contend that RSB has no scientific evidence.
Also, at the centre of disagreement are claims by the industry players that RSB failed to involve them in the decision making process as required by law and is only pushing the controversial standard down their throats.
In essence, packaging in glasses means manufacturers have to abandon their current production lines which some producers claim, they allegedly acquired on the advice of RSB authorities, a claim the standards body vehemently denies.
According to RSB director-general Dr Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, they couldn’t have sanctioned the manufacturers to use plastic packaging well knowing that it poses health risks to consumers.
Nonetheless, the gin makers say they are ready to eat a humble pie and comply with RSB demands on condition that they are given enough time…
Though German and other research results shows there can be serious side effect from using the plastic bottles, they still wants more time though they have already had a lot of time.
A sip from the water bottle sends hormones straight into the throat.
Water, gin and other fluids in plastic bottles appears to contain far more estrogen like substances than water in glass bottles. The effect on snails is very clear, say German researchers who believe that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Estrogenic substances slides right down the throat with drinking fluids in ordinary plastic bottles. The show trials conducted by researchers at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.
In their laboratory, the researchers Martin Wagner and Jörg Oehlmann examined 20 different of the most popular types of water bottles from store shelves, including both plastic bottles, glass bottles and tetrapak with plastic coating on the inside.
All plastics in the study were of the type polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and not the plastic type polycarbonate, which is found in, for example, baby bottles and contains the hormone-like substance bisphenol A.
The overall picture of the study showed that the water in plastic bottles had hormone-like effects. The conclusion came researchers with specific hormone sensitive mud nails type Potamopyrgus antipodarum that increases its reproduction hormone exposure.
The snails were placed in the various bottles and in both plastic bottles and tetra packs they produced on average twice as many embryos as in glass bottles.
Researchers: Plastic may be the main source of the hormone contamination.
The researchers have not analyzed for bottles containing certain substances, and the study also provided some results that are still missing explanation. For instance, a plastic bottle showed no sign of hormone levels, while an individual glass bottles showed signs of hormone-like substances.
Nevertheless, the German researchers have no doubt that the study is evidence that hormone-like substances from plastic packaging move into our drinking water and food.
“We have probably only identified the tip of the iceberg compared to the plastic wrapping as it can be a major source of synthetic hormone contamination of our food,” the researchers write in their conclusion.
Antioxidants in the bottle can be the culprit.
The question remains, what triggered the hormone-like effect, and lead author Martin Wagner guess even that there is a mix of different hormone-like substances. He also points to phthalates or other plastic materials that can provide estrogen-like effects or act as stops for the male sex hormones such as testosterone.
Across from Science News points endocrinologist Ana Soto of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston that the estrogen-like effects can come from antioxidants.
Manufacturers of plastic bottles uses antioxidants in the bottles to make them resistant to sunlight. However, many antioxidants exists as phenolic compounds, and studies show that phenolic compounds to varying degrees can provide estrogen-like effects.
Endocrine disrupters are believed to be the main reason for men’s declining sperm quality, and that more and more boys are born with malformed genitals