Business

Last run for refillable Coke bottles

The small bottler in Winona, Minn., would refill the 6.5-ounce bottles as they were returned.
Andrew Link/Winona Daily News via Associated Press
The small bottler in Winona, Minn., would refill the 6.5-ounce bottles as they were returned.

NEW YORK — It’s the end of an era for Coca-Cola lovers, as the last 6.5-ounce returnable, glass bottle rolls off the production line.

A small Coke bottler in Minnesota says it’s stopping production of the bottles, which customers could return to get back a 20-cent deposit. The company in Winona, Minn., had been refilling the returnable bottles since 1932 but said it no longer makes business sense to continue doing so.

LeRoy Telstad, the bottler’s vice president and general manager, says the last run for refilling the bottles was Tuesday.

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The Coca-Cola Co, based in Atlanta, notes that its 8-ounce glass bottles are still widely available across the country. Those recyclable bottles are nearly identical to the smaller 6.5-ounce bottles. They have less glass but hold more cola.

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The glass bottles that were refilled in Winona had a very limited footprint, distributed in only four counties.

Telstad said people would travel from all over to pick up the refillable bottles.

The bottling company says it refilled about 250 cases, or 6,000 bottles, for the final run.

The bottles will be sold online for $20 each and go toward the Lake Winona Pedestrian and Bicycle Path restoration project.

Associated Press