WINCHESTER, Ky. (FOX 56) — It’s the end of an era for Ale-8-One.
The Winchester-based soda company announced “with full hearts and over 100 years of memories” that the time has come to retire their beloved Ale-8-One refillable longneck bottles.
One percent of every longneck bottle sold went to supporting Kentucky outdoors through 1% for the Planet. Each longneck bottle returned to a retailer would be thoroughly washed and inspected twice before being refilled and sent back into the hands of Kentuckians.
Ale-8-One announced on Tuesday that the equipment needed to wash and refill the bottles is now beyond repair and is no longer supported in the U.S.
“With great care, effort, innovation, and resourcefulness, we have brought our longnecks into the modern era, extending their production for 30 or more years beyond what the rest of the industry offered. These bottles represent a sweet story from a bygone era,” Ale-8-One said. “We must say goodbye.”
The last longneck bottles will remain in circulation and will be available while supplies last, but the bottle deposit program will officially end on December 31.
However, the end of the returnable bottle program won’t mark the end of Ale-8-One’s dedication to sustainability. Ale-8-One has partnered with their glass supplier, Owens-Illinois, and Miguel’s Pizza in the Red River Gorge to pilot a “Commonwealth Collective” recycling program. The bottles returned to be recycled will be returned to the supplier for the making of new bottles.
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“This pilot mirrors the direct recycling program we’ve operated at the Ale-8-One facility in Winchester since the beginning of 2023,” Ale-8-One said. “We hope to rally our fans and extend this program with strategic partnerships to other locations throughout the state to create a closed loop for glass bottles in Kentucky.”