Lebanon Daily News

Added twist to recycling
Lebanon Daily News

Recycling is a great thing. Add recycling to apple pie and motherhood and "55 Chevy convertibles (preferably red.) But there's something even better. And, a few people seem to want to do it: Use the same thing over again!

This editorial writer may be the only person within 500 miles who bought soda pop in returnable bottles.

The brand was "Big Ben," out of Catawissa, north of Harrisburg, available in all these really out-of-sight flavors like "Cooling Lime" and :Refreshing Orange" or Refreshing Grape," "Lemon Bubbles," "Different Cherry" (really, that's what they called it) and Sasaparilla!

Big Ben bottles were a treat (I know, that's another brand) in themselves. The company must have bought many of them from other small firms either no longer in business or who had dropped the returnable line. In a case of 24, at least a third bore the imprinted names of other brands, which had been covered by the Big Ben label.

Big Ben's gone from my store now, because customers weren't interested in an off-brand, a clerk said. They were cheaper than the brand names, but that didn't matter. It also didn't matter that they were kinder to the Earth.

People think they're really helping the environment by recycling -- having glass ground up and remade into bottles or aluminum cans melted down or having newspapers shredded for farm-animal bedding. And, of course, they are. But, there is even a better way.

Don't say it's too much trouble. Think about all that plastic and metal that needn't be collected every other week and handled and rehandled until it's transformed into other products.

We buy beer in returnable bottles without a second thought. Why not soda? It would be a small step in the right direction.

Reprint from: Lebanon Daily News -