Beer bottles for home-brewed beer.

Some beer lovers with an affinity for glass bottles may struggle to get their hands on their favourite brands, as the recent alcohol sales ban disrupted the  bottle returns.  

Netwerk24 reports that Windhoek Lager, Amstel and Heineken in glass bottles are difficult to find in some places in South Africa.

On Tuesday, there was no stock available of Heineken (650ml bottles) to order online on Makro’s website, while 330ml bottles of Windhoek Lager seem to have sold out across the country and Windhoek Light was only available at a handful of Makro stores. There was also no stock of Amstel bottles online.

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Heineken (650ml), Miller Genuine Draught Returnable (660ml), Windhoek Lager (330ml) and Windhoek Draught (440ml) were sold out on the Ultra Liquors website earlier this week, Netwerk24 reports.

Group corporate affairs executive Brian Leroni of Massmart, which owns Makro, told Netwerk24 that the alcohol ban may have disrupted the return of empty bottles to the big beer producers, which is affecting the supply of certain bottled beer brands.

This was confirmed by Mike Arnold, CEO of Consol, who told the publication that there is a shortage of a returnable beer bottles. The sales ban was lifted at the start of February, but the flow of returnable bottles from traders to producers has not yet been restored fully. Leroni says the situation is improving.   

More than 80% of South African beer is packed in returnable bottles - one of the highest rates of beer bottle recycling in the world.

READ | SA’s booze ban is costing glassmakers R8 million a day, but they can’t turn off the furnaces

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