Skip to main content

Who Will Pay For Throw-away Soft Drink Bottles?

December 2020

Presently if you buy a carton of nationally advertised soft drinks you pay from 8 to 14 cents more per carton than if you purchased them in returnable bottles.

In addition you will sooner or later have to buy extra garbage trucks to haul them off, or to have them picked off the highways, or perhaps to buy a new tire for your car.

I have mixed emotions about them. As a retailer selling them for 61 cents per carton, I make 7 cents. I make 8 cents when I sell a carton of returnable bottles for 51 cents, and the extra 1 cent does not cover the extra costs of handling the bottles. So, as a retailer, I prefer to sell the throwaway bottles. As a citizen, I wonder if they are not one more thing that will in the long run cost more than the convenience is worth. Can you imagine Claytor Lake full of throwaway bottles? Even cans eventually rust.

What’s your opinion?

L. E. Wade

A box in Wade’s Supermarket’s ad from the April 10, 1969, Christiansburg-Blacksburg (Virginia) News Messenger

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support this 70-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.