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Bottle banks 'fit to burst' as drinking at home up 43pc


Off-licence sales have soared and bottle banks are full

Off-licence sales have soared and bottle banks are full

Off-licence sales have soared and bottle banks are full

Drinking at home is on the rise, with off-licence and supermarket sales of alcohol increasing 43pc and recycling firms having to increase bottle bank collections.

Recycling capacity has also had to be increased near coastal resorts due to the staycation boom, which has resulted in bottle bank overspills.

At the height of the lockdown, sales of take-home alcohol rose by €6m a day between March and June - the biggest single increase ever recorded.

With pubs set to be closed maybe for months, boozing at home looks set to continue.

Sales of alcohol in Ireland and the UK have overtaken the increase in grocery sales sparked by the pandemic.


Some Irish off-licences have reported sales increases of more than 50pc.

This is in contrast to countries such as Spain, Italy and France, where alcohol sales have failed to match the jump food purchases.

Recycling company Glassco said it had noted the need for increased collections, with people in Tramore, Co Waterford, complaining a local bottle bank "fit to burst".

"We have taken measures to shorten the collection interval at coastal sites nationwide," a Glassco spokesperson said.

"This has been done in light of the staycation phenomenon we're seeing this year, where bottle bank use at tourist destinations has grown considerably, even accounting for other aspects of the Covid crisis."

Waterford City and County Council's director of services for roads, water and environment, Fergus Galvin, said special measures are being taken.

"Capacity sensors are being installed so that when the bins are nearing capacity it will ring or text the contractor," he said.

One Cork off-licence operator said sales have increased by nearly 70pc compared with last year.

"I've never seen anything like it. My deliveries are running at almost double what they were last year due to demand," he said.