Danish brewers face increased competition from a tide of foreign imports following their government's decision to lift a controversial ban on the sale of drinks in cans. Denmark has been embroiled in a protracted legal battle with Brussels over its refusal to accept aluminium cans on environmental grounds. Drinks have traditionally been sold in recyclable glass and plastic bottles. A new scheme set up by the government and funded by brewers requires retailers to charge consumers a deposit per can to encourage them to return cans to stores for recycling. Carlsberg and rival domestic brewer Bryggerigruppen are both prepared to supply their beers in cans as soon as the ban is officially lifted on January 23. Interbrew said the decision had come as a surprise so it was "premature" to talk about taking Stella into Denmark. The Danish Brewers' Association said it expected competition would increase, although it would be difficult for an overseas player to break down consumer loyalty to local brands, which represent 90% of beer sales. The top brands in Denmark, Carlsberg, Pilsner, Albani, Faxe and Ceres, are all produced by Carlsberg or Bryggerigruppen. {{NEWS }}