More than 20 years ago, I went on a mission trip to Roatan, Honduras. One of my favorite memories from that trip was stopping at a little corner shack and asking for a “Fresco de Banana.” Mmm…In all the years since then I have not tasted anything that can compare to the refreshing sweetness of that banana soda. We would stand there in front of the store, savoring each sip. Then when we were done, we’d return the empty bottle to the store owner, and with a joyful “gracias” return to work.
Passing by a stack of empties at the airport on my return trip home, I found myself wondering two things. 1. Why don’t we have banana soda in the United States? (I keep looking but still haven’t found any.) and 2. Why don’t we reuse bottles anymore.
As I’m moving down to item #2 on my list of most commonly used packaged goods, I’m finding myself asking these questions again. First of all, writing the above paragraphs has had me craving a fresco de banana so much that I can taste it. (I understand that soda tastes much better in a glass bottle, so that might have been part of the reason this soda captured my heart so strongly.) But more importantly, I’m wondering about the habit of reusing bottles.
In the early days of soda, it was enjoyed in a glass at the soda fountain. When consumers started voicing that they wanted to take the drinks home, reusable glass bottles were created. But in recent years, glass bottles have been mostly replaced with plastic, and bottling factories that reuse glass soda bottles seem to be limited to a handful of local companies.
Though none of these companies are local to where I live, I am still hopeful that I can become a part of the culture of reusing sanitized soda bottles.