A wry view of life for the world-weary

Blow Of The Week


The Scottish Nationalists’ plans to make significant inroads into that benighted nation’s budgetary deficit revealed this week to be heading towards £50 billion by 2020 are already in tatters. From the end of the year A.G.Barr, makers of the country’s second favourite drink, Irn Bru, will no longer pay 30p, the going rate since 2008, for each empty bottle returned to a retailer.

Known as a glass cheque the refund of a deposit on the bottle if returned intact has been an institution in Scotland since 1905 when you would get back a halfpenny. The discovery of a few bottles was enough to make a kid’s day and the callous Sassenach could inflict no greater cruelty on one of the nation’s finest than dropping a bottle in front of them.

Alas though, the improvement in kerbside recycling has meant that it is now more convenient to chuck the bottles in the Council’s recycling facility than trudging back to the retailer. As a consequence returns are now down to 57% and it doesn’t make economic sense for the manufacturers to continue the practice.

There is no truth in the rumour that Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues will be spending this Christmas rooting around the rubbish tips of Scotland in search of those glass cheques before it is too late.


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