Crate-of-IRN-BRU_obj7810702IRN-BRU makers A. G. Barr have announced that they will no longer be offering 30p incentive for people to return their iconic glass bottles following an investment of £5m in its Cumbernauld facility with the installation of new, high-speed filling capability for its glass bottle range.

The planned investment means Barr will no longer have the infrastructure to handle returned bottles. Barr 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. Barr 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 31st December 2015 and consumers can continue to return their bottles to retailers until this date. From the 1st January 2016 consumers should recycle their bottles through their household recycling scheme or using `on-the-go’ public recycling facilities.

Jonathan Kemp, Barr’s Commercial Director, said: “We know how much our consumers love the taste of their favourite soft drink flavours in our iconic 750ml glass bottles. This significant investment allows us to continue to offer our consumers their favourite products in glass, well into the future.

“With improved kerbside recycling, only 1 in 2 of our bottles are now being returned, meaning that the process of handling returned bottles has become uneconomic. We will continue to offer the same quality products in the same 750ml bottle for the long-term, but the bottle will no longer be returnable.”

This investment will replace Barr’s current glass line, which is almost 20 years old, with faster more efficient glass filling capability, and will see the energy-hungry returnable glass bottle washing equipment decommissioned.

Earlier in the year the Scottish Government held talks to discuss the potential for a deposit return scheme for drinks bottles and cans across the UK to reduce litter and improve recycling following the publication of a feasibility study report into various deposit return schemes by Zero Waste Scotland.