Last Returnable Coke Bottle Rolls Off the Line

End of an era at Minnesota bottler
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2012 3:45 AM CDT
Updated Oct 11, 2012 4:43 AM CDT
A worker loads glass bottles into a washer before they are filled up for the last time at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Winona, Minn.    (AP Photo/Winona Daily News, Andrew Link)
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(Newser) – The last returnable Coke bottles in America rolled off the line at a small bottling plant in Minnesota this week. The plant, which supplies just four counties, had been refilling the returnable bottles since 1932 but it says it no longer makes economic sense to refill the 6.5-ounce glass bottles, especially since people now tend to keep the vintage bottles instead of returning them, the AP reports.

The glass bottles "were made on an old line that would have to be completely replaced—they kept them going as long as they could," says a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, which notes that its recyclable 8-ounce glass bottles are still available across the country. Some 6,000 bottles were refilled in the Minnesota plant's final run, and they're not expecting anybody to bring them back for the 20-cent deposit: The bottles are being sold online for $20 each, with the proceeds going to the Lake Winona Pedestrian and Bicycle Path restoration project. (Read more Coca-Cola stories.)

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