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End of 110-year tradition

Irn-Bru maker ends 30p return on bottles

Irn-Bru bottlesIrn-Bru maker AG Barr is to end its 30p bottle return scheme from next year in a move that will disappoint recycling and waste campaigners.

The company said it is investing £5 million to fill bottles quicker at its Cumbernauld plant and will no longer be able to handle returns.

It defended the decision by saying customer recycling had seen a drop in bottles being returned from 90% in the early 1990s to only about 50% now.

Jonathan Kemp, commercial director, said: “With improved kerbside recycling, only one in two of our bottles are now being returned, meaning that the process of handling returned bottles has become uneconomic.”

The move ends a 110 year tradition which was popular with children who collected the bottles to provide spending money.

Barr will continue to accept bottles until December 31 and consumers can continue to return their bottles to retailers until then.

Former chairman Robin Barr, one of only three people to know the secret recipe for Irn-Bru, said the firm would still use glass because it was better at retaining the fizz. But the drink would soon be delivered in recyclable glass.

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