Irn Bru producers warn against bottle recycling scheme

Drink manufacturers are against plans to introduce deposit-and-return system in Scotland

AG Barr, the producers of the iconic Scottish drink Irn Bru, has said that the decision to hand over cash for used bottles and cans in Scotland could result in a ‘crime spree’.

The introduction of a deposit-and-return system for bottles, cans and cartons in Scotland is paving the way to scavenging, looting and fraud, according to AG Barr.

During a recent waste management debate at the Scottish Parliament, it was revealed that MSPs are considering implementing such a system within Scotland. Similar schemes are already successful in many countries throughout the world, including Germany, Sweden, Norway, the US and Canada.

Consumers pay a deposit on a bottle/can at the time of purchase (25 cent in Germany, 1 Krona in Sweden, which is around 10p) and then return the bottle/can to get that money back using special machines which are installed in stores and supermarkets.

Those who doubt the effectiveness of the deposit-and-return scheme, have said that it could lead to the “cross-border trafficking” of recyclable materials and the scavenging of bins, which occurs in other countries which operate such systems, where many homeless and unemployed people collect empty bottles from public and private waste bins.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland and a supporter of the proposal, commented: “Deposit return systems work well in many countries and are very popular with the public. They also help create local jobs, reduce climate change emissions and boost recycling.”

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