End of an era for bottle man

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A charity legend is calling it a day.

Retired Cumbernauld fireman Jimmy Rexter has been collecting empty Barr’s bottles for the last 35 years and donating the deposits to charity.

Jimmy (82), who has collected more than two million bottles and raised over £130,000 for various charities – most recently to help build a cinema at Glasgow Royal Hospital for Sick Children – has been forced into ‘retirement’ as Barr’s is scrapping its long-running deposit scheme at the end of January.

He said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me over the years, and also Sanctuary Cumbernauld who have provided the use of a lockup so I could store the bottles.”

In August soft drinks giant AG Barr announced it would no longer be offering a return on its empty bottles, which most recently was at a rate of 30p per bottle. The bottle deposit scheme has run for a century and become an important childhood memory of many Scots.

It says this change is due to an increase in home recycling meaning fewer bottles being returned – as low as one in 12 – and it also announced a £5 million investment in new manufacturing processes for its glass bottles.

Until the last week in January, Jimmy is determined to collect as many of the ‘glass cheques’ as possible in a last push to raise the maximum amount for charity.

To contact Jimmy about providing bottles call him on 07983837680.