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End of the Line for Returnable Coke Bottles

The last ever returnable glass Coca Cola bottle in the US has rolled off the production line in a Minnesota bottling facility.

The Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Winona filled the last bottle last week after deciding that it would be too costly to replace the product’s aging bottling line, reports WKYC.com.

The iconic 6.5 ounce bottles were the last returnable Coke bottles in the United States. Customers paid a 20 cent deposit on each bottle that was refunded on the return of the bottle, but only in four counties, two in Minnesota and two in Wisconsin, the TV station says.

New bottles have not been made since around 1990. A final commemorative run of about 5,900 bottles has gone on sale from the plant, priced at $20 each. Proceeds go towards the expansion of local pedestrian and cycle paths, the station reports.

The company’s 10-ounce and 12-ounch returnable bottles were discontinued earlier this year. The plant, which employs 14 people full time, will stay open.

Atlanta-based Coca Cola still sells its product in recyclable 8-ounce glass bottles.

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola Enterprises, which produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola products in Western Europe, announced plans to invest €6.5 million ($8.4 million) in a PET recycling facility. CCE is establishing a new joint venture in France with PET recycler APPE to boost the capacity of its plastics reprocessing facility by 70 percent. The venture will invest in a new line at APPE’s existing recycling facility in Beaune, France, and will fund the trial and introduction of new technology.

In other packaging news, UK-based HDPE milk bottle producer NamPack Plastics has achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status, reports Business Durham.

The news follows a company-wide drive towards enhanced sustainability through waste recovery. According to the web site, as part of the drive NamPack appointed “Carbon Champions” at each of its nine UK locations, with responsibly over waste recovery and recycling.

Picture credit: Tidonation via Flickr

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