SABMiller's Czech subsidiary, Plzensky Prazdroj, has invested CZK150m (US$8.6m) in a production line for beer in PET bottles, amid growing demand for the format. 

It is the Pilsner Urquell brewer's biggest single investment in the past five years. The line is able to fill 18,000 bottles per hour and will be used specifically for three brands: Klasik, Primus and Velkopopovicky Kozel. The first two are the lowest-alcohol beers in the group's portfolio.

Plzensky Prazdroj‘s general director, Doug Brodman, said that consumer demand for more practical packaging is rising. Group spokesman Jirí Marecek declined to comment to just-drinks this week on whether Czechs also prefer plastic bottles because they are cheaper than glass. He said that the plastic bottles are unbreakable and easier to open.