AUSTRALIA – South Australia’s police union is launching legal action to prohibit the sale of canned beers at the Adelaide Oval sports ground.

The authorities are citing concerns that the metal packaging poses a safety threat to players, staff and police officers as a potential projectile.

Previously, beer could only be sold in plastic cups, but metal cans were then permitted by the state’s Liquor and Gambling Commissioner in July.

The South Australia Police Association (PASA) is now appealing that decision with the Liquor Licensing Court over fears surrounding public safety.

The union is concerned intoxicated patrons could throw beer cans at people on the field, including players, staff and police officers.

This is after the Stadium Management Authority (SMA) suggested that metal cans offers a more environmentally responsible alternative to plastic cups and allow for a wider range of beverages to be sold.

According to Australian government statistics, only 13% of plastics are recycled (PP (9%); PET (21%)), representing “significant untapped value.”

By contrast, 90% of metals are recycled, due to “well-established recycling processes, with mature markets for secondary materials.”

This move by the SMA has led to the Police Association of South Australia’s (PASA) President Mark Carroll questioning whether the SMA’s motivations are truly centered around raising recycling levels.

“The majority of South Australians would not buy the proposition that this action is about environmental concerns and not commercial ones. There are many alternative environmentally friendly products on the market that do not carry the same safety risks as full cans,” he said.

When amending the stadium’s liquor license, Liquor and Gambling Commissioner Dini Soulio noted that historical can-throwing incidents have occurred, but that they were a long time ago and rare events.

South Australia Police (SAPOL) were previously opposed to beer cans being sold at Adelaide Oval, but reversed their position after the Stadium Management Authority (SMA) addressed their public safety issues.

That included warnings on the stadium’s screens about throwing beer cans and reminders that doing so could result in a two-year ban from the ground.

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