• Jan 7, 2011
Straight from the "Never Expected To See This" file is a story regarding plans for all those banned and discontinued cans of alcoholic energy drinks that were taken off the market late last year. Instead of bring poured on the ground in honor of all the parties that will forever be less exciting due to the inability of people to mix their own guarana-filled sugar water with vodka, leftover Four Loko (and other drinks) will be turned into ethanol thanks to recyclers like MXI Environmental Services in Virginia.

According to the Associated Press, drink producers, which have been sitting on a lot of the unopened cans, are shipping them to Abington, Virginia, where MXI will distill the alcohol from the drinks and sell it to a flex-fuel blender. The cans then go to an aluminum recycler, and the water in the drink and the cardboard packages are also reused.

MXI's Vice President of Operations at the facility, Brian Potter, tells the AP that a "couple of hundred truckloads," each carrying 2,000 cases, are on their way to MXI, which can process four truck a day. "There are about 30 different products involved, and we've only seen a couple of them at this point. It could go on for several months," he said.

[Sources: Associated Press, Domestic Fuel | Image: Elaine Thompson/AP]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      if you factor in the amount of money it takes to produce ethanol, is it really efficient?
        • 4 Years Ago
        that's a fact, Jack
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Jared

        Teenage Mutant Ninja Bros?
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, but what good would it do to flush it down the sewer?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm sure the workers at that recycling plant will make sure that every last can is...disposed of.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Will they ban Red Bull next?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's do a little math.

      (23.5 oz/can) * (24 cans/case) * (2000 cases/truck) / (128 oz/gallon) = 1058 gallons/truck

      Multiply that by a "couple of hundred" trucks, and we're talking about 200,000 gallons of ethanol.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This what happens when parents don't educate their children about this junk. The BIG GOVERNMENT has to take us by the hand and tell us what to do. Good quality wine, beer and spirits are very good for you.
      • 4 Years Ago
      what is the reason why they are banned?

      any forbidden ingedients?
        • 4 Years Ago
        This will always be a difficult issue, because slippery slope logic is used to justify it. Everyone agrees that this drink is bad for a number of reasons, but where is the line drawn?

        Not an easy question to answer, for sure. I believe this issue comes down to a business selling a product they know to be harmful. You can mix jack and coke all you want, but then you wouldn't be able to blame anyone but yourself, since those items are not necessarily intended for use together, by the companies that sell them.

        I can see this as an issue, but it makes a little nervous to see a slippery slope argument used to justify this.

        As someone who designs a product for a living, I can tell you, that if your product frequently is misused, it typically has a design flaw, no matter what the context is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They are banned because we live in a nanny state that makes decisions for us because we're too stupid. Red Bull and vodka has been popular since Red Bull was invented. Irish Cream in coffee? Forever. Jack and Coke? Forever. Guarana isn't the devil, Big Government is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        People died from drinking this stuff, but people also die from gunshot wounds, I don't see anyone rushing to ban guns, or more specifically bullets, since its the bullet that actually kills.

        Back to this stuff, had an insanely high % of alcahol then it was mixed with caffine or whatever the active ingredient in guarana.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Monte: Not taking the government's side in this fight, but I'm siding with the people who work in Emergency Rooms. On the RedBull & Vodka mix (I prefer to mix my RB with Captain Morgan), both here and in Europe, there have been a rash of folks who end up at the ER with ailments from racing hearts to cardiac arrest. One or two won't hurt you, but if spend the entire night downing these, plus you know the odd fool out there that going to take a hit of X for dessert.

        Four Loco is an entirely different matter. Most people legally drunk off ONE can. Like potato chips, you can't have just one.

        The typical SHOT has 1.5 ozs of alcahol. Four Loco has 2.82 ozs. That combined with guarana, three cans in, is like a wicked left hook.

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Four%20Loko
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Dr. Greenthumb

        ya, but there are enough idiots out there that say, guns don't kill, but people do.
        which is rather strange.

        @MONTE

        yeah, i drink almost nothing, maybe once a year and even that's much, but i used or still like Wodka red bull.

        how about 'Bacardi Breezer' they sell @ gas stations?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Four Loko is still available, just with no caffeine/guarana/taurine. I haven't tried it since they took all that stuff out, but it's still 12% and cheap. I guess it's still a cheap way to get drunk. As far as I know, the push to ban the caffeine/alcohol version wasn't a result of anybody's death, it was the result of hospitalizations of college students that got alcohol poisoning after drinking it. That's kind of ridiculous because college students get alcohol poisoning off of anything that has alcohol in it. I'm glad there's a constructive use for the banned version though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I got a couple cases of that stuff saved for some "special occasions".
      • 4 Years Ago
      So...Four Loco brand E85?
      • 4 Years Ago
      It should be pointed out that it is only local communities and states that are banning these drinks and not the feds. Four Loko is still widely available here in Florida, and sales are solid. Why don't they work out a way to ship them here instead? They're probably just doing this for the headlines, and hey it worked.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for the post. We can still get these drinks in the Phoenix area also. Mmm.... green Tilt
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, but the FDA sent letters to the four manufacturers of these drinks, gently urging them to stop selling the products with caffeine. It is back on the shelves here in Ohio, too, but minus the stimulants.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They'd better keep their street address secret or they're going to have a lot of Bro's conducting night excursions to rescue their Loko, brah.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Say...maybe I'll have to start a "recycling company" so Four Loko can send me all these drinks.
      • 4 Years Ago


      Let's do a little math.

      (23.5 oz/can) * (12%) * (24 cans/case) * (2000 cases/truck) / (128 oz/gallon) = 1058 gallons/truck

      Multiply that by a "couple of hundred" trucks, and we're talking about 200,000 gallons of ethanol.

        • 4 Years Ago
        You could probably get a lot more from it than 12%. You can get ethanol from sugar and water, and this certainly has lots of sugar. 12% is just the amount of alcohol it currently contains, if you convert all of that sugar you're probably able to get WAY more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes it will --- see the "12%" - that's the percentage of the total that is ethanol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah but it all won't go into the ethanol. Maybe half is my uneducated guess.
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