Re: When I was a kid
The UK system was killed off because the producers didn't like it. It caused them trouble, so in those pre-Green days they'd far rather just dump it in a bin and leave the local council send the stuff to landfill.
Even today there's people arguing that non-returnables are "better" (better for them, they mean) because of the challenges of collecting, transporting and cleaning empties for re-use.
Of course, much has changed since the 60s. The cost of new bottles, the cost of the energy to melt and rework old ones, the cost of transportation, the cost of landfill, etc. And yes, a proper analysis would include the costs of re-use against the costs of recycling or dumping.