The German fruit juice producer Albi is to close one of its bottling plants, which becomes another victim of the declining sales in non-returnable bottles since the government introduced new environmental laws in the country in January.

The closure of the plant in Hochdahl near Dusseldorf, western Germany, will see 60 employees lose their jobs. Albi plans to cut another 290 jobs from its plant in Berghuelen near Ulm, southern Germany, which is currently not at full capacity.

The decrease in sales of juice in non-returnable bottles is mainly due to the introduction of a system of deposits on cans and plastic bottles in 2003, designed to encourage recycling.

However, Germany's retailers, as a reaction to the law, have decided to exclude fruit juices in non-returnable bottles from their shelves as consumers, who do not wish to pay the deposit, have stopped buying them.