Glasgow & West Scotland

Irn Bru's 30p bottle exchange scheme ends after 110 years

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Media captionThe Irn Bru glass return scheme ran for more than a century

Irn Bru's 30p buyback scheme for customers who return glass bottles will come to an end at midnight.

Drinks-maker AG Barr, which has operated the policy since 1905, said it had seen a drop of 40% in bottle returns since the 1990s.

The Cumbernald-based company will now recycle rather than refill the bottles.

A rise in kerbside recycling has meant the "energy-hungry" process of sterilising bottles was no longer seen as economical.

Fondly referred to as 'glass cheques' or 'gingies', the bottles fetched a ha'penny when the exchange was first introduced.

AG Barr announced the scheme would be ending in August.

The company's commercial director Jonathan Kemp described the move as "the end of an era."

He 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.

"It's a sad decision to take."

The firm has made a £5m investment in facilities to fill bottles quicker at its Cumbernauld plant, and will decommission its current washing equipment.

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