As Scottish Government considers deposit and returns system Irn-Bru giant brings returns to an end as it invests £5m at Cumbernauld
SCOTTISH soft drinks giant AG Barr is to stop operating a deposit and return system for its soft drinks glass bottles from the beginning of next year.
The firm says the change will follow £5m worth of investment in new glass bottle filling equipment at its Cumbernauld plant and the decommissioning of what it calls “energy-hungry returnable glass bottle washing equipment”.
The move to end what is perhaps Scotland’s most substantial deposit and return scheme comes as the Scottish Government considers a feasibility study carried out for Zero Waste Scotland into a statutory comprehensive deposit and return scheme for plastic, glass and carton drinks containers. The proposed DRS would utilise large, expensive reverse vending systems in stores and would require consumers to carry back large numbers of containers to shops.
The proposals have been widely criticised by many industry groups in retailing, wholesaling and food and drink supply.
Barr said it had has seen a significant reduction in the number of bottles being returned in recent years as consumers increasingly choose the convenience of recycling at home. The firm saw 90% of its bottles returned in the early 90s, but now only half of bottles are being returned.
Barr will continue to accept bottles until the 31 December 2015 and consumers can continue to return their bottles to retailers until that date. From 1 January 2016 consumers should recycle the bottles through their household recycling scheme or by using public recycling facilities.
Barr commercial director Jonathan Kemp said: “From the beginning of October information on the change will be carried on the bottle label and we will work with retailers to display materials in their premises to ensure our consumers understand what is planned.”