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View Full Version : Farewell to Refillables on PEI



No Soda
06-18-2008, 11:02 PM
I am a little late in reporting this, but May 3, 2008, was the day that the can ban in Prince Edward Island, Canada was lifted. For those of you not familiar, from 1984 PEI mandated that all beer and carbonated soft drinks be sold in refillable bottles. This was done to reduce litter and because it was felt that refilling bottles was more environmentally sound than recycling. A comprehensive deposit system has been put in place to cover all soft drinks.

Seaman's Beverages, located in Charlottetown, was the last bottler on PEI, bottling their own old-time sodas, and Pepsi, DR Pepper, and Canada Dry products. In 2003, Pepsi acquired the plant. With the lifting of the can ban, the bottling line has been shut down, and the facility is now used as a
distribution center.

I managed to visit the Island in April for a last look and to pick up some bottles for the collection. (Apologies in advance for the quality of some of the photos.) I was a bit concerned that it was so close to the May deadline, but on arriving, found glass in ample supply:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/nosoda/pei6.jpg

Hard to believe that in less than a month, all this would be gone...some of these Pepsi 750 mL bottles were 30 years old.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/nosoda/c12.jpg

When was the last time you saw refillable glass in a Wal-Mart? No doubt, the stuff of nightmares to both the folks in Bentonville and Atlanta.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/nosoda/pe5-1.jpg

In most of the supermarkets, returns were handled by a reverse vending machine. The bottles were inserted in the machine, scanned, (by profile, not bar code) and placed on a sorting table in the back via a conveyor belt:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/nosoda/pe3.jpg

No Soda
06-18-2008, 11:07 PM
A decal from Coke seen on some vending machines and C-store coolers encouraging consumers to return their bottles; the company spent vastly more energy (and money) trying to overturn the refillables-only rule.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/nosoda/pe4.jpg

And of course, the "stuff I took home" photo showing some of the nearly 50 bottles I bought:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/nosoda/sodas.jpg

Android
06-19-2008, 02:21 AM
*sigh*

I always wanted to make it up there, got as close as Maine a few years ago, but felt I didn't have time to go there and still make it over to Illinois for a family reunion.

I used to trade bottles by mail with a collector in Canada several years ago. He sent me this Diet Pepsi bottle, its the only swirl bottle I've seen with a large ACL logo on it as well. Were there still any of those kicking around still when you were up there?
-Andy
http://members.trainorders.com/android/Pepsi/DPbig.jpg

lordmadone
06-19-2008, 03:38 AM
Thanks for sharing that..pretty sweet.

skylark68
06-19-2008, 06:04 PM
I'm actually surprised this is happening due to the costs of materials skyrocketing each month. It seems more cost effective to keep refilling and not using up aluminum which has jumped an incredible amount in the past year or so (as with all raw materials).

I've been hearing rumors of some companies potentially going back to glass if petroleum costs keep going up.

the saint
06-19-2008, 07:33 PM
I have heard rumors of a 16 oz nr replacing 20 oz pet, but it was just a rumor as far as I know. no basis whatsoever, only hearsay.

No Soda
06-19-2008, 08:24 PM
*sigh*

I always wanted to make it up there, got as close as Maine a few years ago, but felt I didn't have time to go there and still make it over to Illinois for a family reunion.

I used to trade bottles by mail with a collector in Canada several years ago. He sent me this Diet Pepsi bottle, its the only swirl bottle I've seen with a large ACL logo on it as well. Were there still any of those kicking around still when you were up there?
-Andy
http://members.trainorders.com/android/Pepsi/DPbig.jpg

Andy, sorry to hear that you and your Bug didn't make it over the Confederation Bridge :( . Even from Maine it's a long drive--about 5 hours from the border to the Bridge.

I've never seen a bottle like the one you show in you picture. If I'd seen one I would have snapped it up. The only ACL Pepsi bottles on PEI I saw on my visits were the ancient 300 and 750-mL ones. All the Diet Pepsi was paper label only. I think this may have to do with the ingredients (sweeteners) changing over time where the info on any ACL bottles would have become obsolete.

SamC
06-20-2008, 09:31 AM
I'm actually surprised this is happening due to the costs of materials skyrocketing each month. It seems more cost effective to keep refilling and not using up aluminum which has jumped an incredible amount in the past year or so (as with all raw materials).



Not really. You have to understand how refillables work. In the old days, every town had a bottling plant, because they had to transport the empties back. So they had a multi-step process. The route driver had to deliver the product and retreve the empties, which had to be accounted for. Then drive the empties back to the plant, where they had to be cleaned, and then refilled. Small scale manufacturing because the cost of transporting empties is great, so they had to have 1000s of plants.

The modern process the route driver just drops the product off and moves on. He can get a lot more work done in a day. And, most importantly, bottling can be consolidated into a large scale central facility serving an entire region.

When the Confederation Bridge was completed, connecting PEI to the rest of North America, the unique insular condition that made a refilable market work there ended, and that was that.

And, of course, plastic and metal weigh less than glass, cutting fuel costs, and are safer, which is why even glass non-returnable are contraindicated.

francoenergy99
06-20-2008, 02:35 PM
That diet pepsi was nasty and still is when it first came out it had sweet and low in it eww

Android
06-21-2008, 03:16 AM
That diet pepsi was nasty and still is when it first came out it had sweet and low in it eww

That's a bit off-topic. The point was to ask if any of those bottles were still around PEI at the end. And that particular Canadian 750ml bottle pictured, I need to get another picture next time I'm around my bottle storage, as that's a truly unique design, it has full swirl on one side, and smooth on the other with the large 1986-later Diet Pepsi logo on it.

And actually, if that statement was meant to imply that that logo being associated with "Sweet-N-Low", then that is incorrect. That pictured logo came out in around 1986. Pepsi had dropped saccharin and switched to 100% Nutrasweet(aspartame) a year or two before then.

And yeah, before Nutrasweet, sure, diet sodas didn't taste as good, but really what choice did they have? The soda companies did the best they could with the one sweetener the government would let them use back then, saccharin. In the beginning, Diet Pepsi originally had less saccharin in it anyway, blended with cylclamates, which were banned in the USA like 1969. I've always wondered what that original forumlation of Diet Pepsi tasted like. Here's a US 1964 bottle I have:

http://members.trainorders.com/android/Pepsi/1964DietPepsiBottle.jpg

SplitLevelP
06-27-2008, 07:13 PM
does anyone who has these bottles willing to sell or trade for them?there is no way i will ever make it there before they are gone

BottleBoss
07-15-2008, 07:36 PM
That is dissapointing news. It was too far away for me to go to anyway.

Android
07-24-2008, 12:12 PM
I need to get another picture next time I'm around my bottle storage, as that's a truly unique design, it has full swirl on one side, and smooth on the other with the large 1986-later Diet Pepsi logo on it.


Okay, I was digging into my bottles in storage the other day and took a bunch of photos. Here's some better shots of the unique DP bottle with the full swirl only on one side.

http://members.trainorders.com/android/Pepsi/DietPepsi750ML1980s.jpg

No Soda
08-10-2008, 07:13 PM
does anyone who has these bottles willing to sell or trade for them?there is no way i will ever make it there before they are gone

Which ones are you looking for?

Android, thanks for the additional pics. That's a nice looking bottle though the label on just one side makes it look a bit unfinished. I don't think too many of these were made.

BigB
08-23-2008, 01:32 PM
No Soda, those are pretty neat soda bottles from PEI! I didn't know Seaman's still bottled using crown caps... I'd be interested in seeing what the caps look like.

One thing I've wondered is what plant code did Seaman's use on its Pepsi bottles?

No Soda
08-25-2008, 11:01 PM
No Soda, those are pretty neat soda bottles from PEI! I didn't know Seaman's still bottled using crown caps... I'd be interested in seeing what the caps look like.

One thing I've wondered is what plant code did Seaman's use on its Pepsi bottles?

Here's a code from one of the 750mL bottles I purchased:
1729BB040381X

I saved some crowns from the 300ml Pepsi and Diet Pepsi bottles. Give me some time and I'll post pictures.

No Soda
08-30-2008, 10:12 PM
Here's a picture of the Pepsi crowns...wish all 12-packs could look like this..
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b118/nosoda/pepsicaps.jpg

BigB
09-07-2008, 04:25 PM
Wow, 49 cents for a glass bottle? I'm jealous; the Islanders had it so good.

Awesome pic, thank you!

SplitLevelP
09-16-2008, 03:59 PM
coke,pepsi,7up,sprite & canada dry