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Steam Whistle asks consumers to bring back empties

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, May 14th, 2020

A Toronto brewery is issuing a plea for consumers to bring back their empty bottles as the Beer Store says a growing number of its locations are accepting returns.

Steam Whistle Brewery says restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a decline in bottle returns, leaving it with a potential shortage just as sales are expected to ramp up for spring and summer.

Tim McLaughlin, the company’s vice-president of marketing, says there could be “rolling shortages” of Steam Whistle beer in the coming months unless it’s able to recover and reuse more empties.

He says the company used up an entire year’s worth of new bottles to make up for the lack of returns, and it’ll take months for a new order to be delivered.

Bottles returned to the Beer Store or the brewery itself, he says, can be back in use within days.

The Beer Store temporarily stopped accepting empty cans and bottles in March to adjust to the new health and safety measures imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has since allowed returns to resume at most locations.

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