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Industry Circular

Number: 68-32
Date: November 21, 1968

US Treasury Department

Internal Revenue Service

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division

Washington, D.C. 20224


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Experimental Packaging and Marketing of Distilled Spirits in Certain Plastic Liquor Bottles

Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants, Manufacturers of Liquor Bottles, Importers, Wholesale Liquor Dealers, and Others Concerned:


The purpose of this circular is to announce that, for experimental purposes, the Director will consider applications from distilled spirits plant proprietors for permission to bottle distilled spirits, during calendar year 1969, in certain sizes of plastic liquor bottles.


On the basis of data furnished by various industry members during the past several years and recently submitted in response to Industry Circular 68-21, and on the basis of preliminary results from laboratory tests currently in progress, the Director has concluded that at least one type of plastic might be suitable for use in the manufacture of liquor bottles. To further explore this possibility, the Director has decided to permit the use of certain sizes of plastic liquor bottles on an experimental basis for a period of one year (beginning January 1, 1969). It is felt that by so limiting the bottling, the number of plastic liquor bottles released to trade channels can be kept within reasonable bounds and at the same time the bottles will be given sufficiently diversified distribution to reveal any presently unforeseen practical or technological problems which might be inherent in their use under actual bottling and marketing conditions.


Plastic liquor bottles to be used during the experimental period shall conform to the following specifications:

1. They must be made of polyvinyl chloride containing only such additives as have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in containers for packaging alcoholic products for human consumption.

2. They must be rigid or semirigid, i.e., having a molded shape or design which cannot be permanently altered by pressure without damage to the bottle.

3. They must be of less than 1/2-pint or of 1/2-gallon capacity.


Those distilled spirits plant proprietors, who wish to bottle distilled spirits in polyvinyl chloride plastic bottles during calendar year 1969 should submit applications for such purpose to the Director along with samples of the plastic bottles they propose to use. Such applications should include the following information:

1. Specific identification of the particular polyvinyl chloride plastic to be used, giving the name and address of the manufacturer thereof and the manufacturer's numerical or trade name designation for the plastic.

2. Reference to the Food and Drug Administration publication pursuant to which the particular plastic has been approved by that agency, giving section and paragraph numbers where applicable.

3. The name and address of the bottle manufacturer who will make the bottles from such plastic.

4. A list of the classes of distilled spirits to be bottled in the plastic containers and a list of the sizes to be bottled.

Those proprietors who are interested in using such plastic bottles should file their applications as soon as possible in order to allow time for processing. If sample bottles are not immediately available, an explanation of this fact shall be included in the application, with a statement as to when such samples will be furnished to the Director. Copies of the applications should be furnished to the Assistant Regional Commissioners of the applicants' regions. Proprietors may not commence using plastic liquor bottles before receiving approval of their applications.

Harold Serr

Harold A. Serr

Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division

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