Irn Bru maker AG Barr to invest £5m at plant after end to ‘glass cheques’

The number of Barr's bottles being returned has halfed since the early 1990s
The number of Barr's bottles being returned has halfed since the early 1990s
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Irn-Bru makers AG Barr is to invest £5m on a new type of production line – which will bring an end to its famous ‘glass cheques’.

The deposit on its 750ml glass bottle is the source of many childhood memories, but the installation of new machinery at the Westfield plant marks the end of an era as returned bottles will no longer be accepted.

Over the years the number of bottles being returned has declined sharply, due to increasing numbers of people recycling at home.

In the early 1990s Barr saw 90 per cent of its bottles returned, but this has dropped by half.

Johnathan Kemp, commercial director at AG Barr, 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 one in two of our bottles are now being returned, meaning that the prowess of handling returned bottles has become uneconomic.

“We will continue to offer the same quality products in the 750ml bottle for the long term, but the bottle will no longer be returnable.”

The deposit scheme is to end on December 31 this year.