An Ohio-based glass company says it's closing a Georgia bottle factory _ and part of the reason is that people are drinking less beer, and buying more of it in cans

Share story

ATLANTA (AP) — An Ohio-based glass company says it’s closing a Georgia bottle factory — and part of the reason is that people are drinking less beer, and buying more of it in cans.

The Atlanta factory will close around July 18, putting 270 people out of work, Owens-Illinois Inc . spokeswoman Janet Galecki told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Most are hourly employees.

In addition to the declining beer and beer bottle markets, the plant needed work, she said.

The Perrysburg, Ohio, company will close the plant “in a respectful manner,” she wrote in an email. “Employees will be eligible for appropriate separation benefits.”

The plant’s customers are mainly mainstream domestic beer companies and will get bottles from other Owens-Illinois plants, she wrote. After closing the plant, Owens-Illinois bottles and customer demand “will be roughly balanced,” the statement said.

Sales of beer and other malt beverages fell 1 percent last year, to 207.4 million barrels, losing share to both wine and spirits, the National Beer Wholesalers Association reported in April. It said preliminary data suggest a drop of 2.3 million barrels — the equivalent of 31 million cases holding two-dozen 12-ounce cans or bottles.

___

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com