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ALCAN SEEKS REVIEW OF BEER CAN TAX IN ONTARIO

 ALCAN SEEKS REVIEW OF BEER CAN TAX IN ONTARIO
 TORONTO, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Alcan Aluminium Limited (NYSE: AL)


is strongly objecting to the Ontario NDP government's plan to impose a 10-cent "environmental levy" on beer cans, company president Jacques Bougie declared today. "We are resolved to fight it," he said. The proposed tax applies to non-refillable alcoholic beverage containers, discriminating against aluminum cans and favoring refillable glass bottles.
 Bougie said the proposed tax is not based on any scientific or environmental evidence, since recycled aluminum beer cans and refillable beer bottles are both shown to be environmentally equivalent. In addition, preliminary data from studies currently under way, using the methodology adopted by the Canadian National Packaging Protocol, confirm these findings.
 "Ontario has the highest reported recycling rate for aluminum cans in the world, 88 percent," he said. "In Europe, the highest rate is Sweden at 85 percent. And the United States is behind Ontario with an average recovery rate of 63 percent.
 "The effort made by people in Ontario to return their beer cans is terrific, something they should be congratulated for, not penalized."
 The April 30 Ontario provincial budget included the additional indirect levy on beer, wine and spirits packaged in non-refillable containers which could cost consumers, according to government estimates, an additional $85 million beginning May 25. The proposed tax increases from zero to ten cents per can on domestic beer in aluminum cans.
 The effect of this proposed tax is that people purchasing beer in cans will end up paying an additional $ 2.40 for a case of 24 cans, $1.20 for 12 cans, and $.60 for a six pack.
 "Since glass beer bottles are not subject to the proposal, the tax is unwarranted and grossly discriminatory against aluminum," said Jacques Bougie. "Furthermore there is no evidence the tax will improve the Ontario environment."
 Aluminum can recycling has become a worldwide industry due to major energy savings. Each new life given to an aluminum can requires only 5 percent of the energy needed to make it originally.
 "As for the solid waste stream, let me be perfectly clear. Alcan wants every aluminum can back, not one going to landfill. The data is clear. Aluminum cans make up less than 2 percent of the solid waste stream in Ontario, and is part of the solid waste solution, not the problem."
 Bougie said it was too early to predict the effect of the tax on Alcan's Kingston Works, where aluminum sheet is manufactured for beverage cans. He said that redress could be sought through a variety of means, including legal and political channels.
 Alcan operates an aluminum sheet rolling mill in Kingston, which employs 376 workers and produces large aluminum coils, which are then sold to companies who produce beverage cans.
 Alcan Aluminium Limited is one of Canada's leading multinational companies, with operations in over 21 countries worldwide. In Ontario, Alcan operates 14 manufacturing plants, a major research laboratory, and 24 sales and metal distribution centers employing more than 2,000 people.
 All enquiries are to be directed to Steven Fehling, vice president, Alcan Recycling, 416-590-7713.
 -0- 5/21/92
 /CONTACT: Jacques Dubuc of Alcan Aluminium, 514-848-8114/
 (AL) CO: Alcan Aluminium Limited ST: Ontario IN: MNG SU:


TS -- NY038 -- 2761 05/21/92 11:10 EDT
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Date:May 21, 1992
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