Whether they’ll admit to it or not, most students have encountered a drunken night during their college years. There are many drinks to choose from, but a popular choice from 2010 was the infamous Four Loko, an alcoholic energy drink. The drink was banned by New York State, causing students to stock up on their precious hangover-in-a-can. But what happened to the cans people didn’t purchase after the FDA ban?
Just because Four Loko is not fit for human consumption does not mean it cannot fulfill another purpose. Innovation never seems to cease as Four Loko has recently been used to help fuel cars. Cases of the former Four Loko are being shipped to a waste disposal in Virginia. MXI Environmental Services then takes the beverage and converts it into ethanol fuel.
Many companies that carried the drink were looking to get rid of the useless product, and selling to the Virginia-based company is a perfect way to unload the beverage.
“We’re equipped to process four truckloads a day, and we’re at full capacity,” the company said in an AP interview.
This is quite a feat considering each truck can carry 2,000 cases of cans. Efficiency is also key, for the company does not waste any of the liquid during the recycling process.
If this proves to be a successful venture, more companies may copy MXI’s idea and get their share of the money.
However, Phusion Projects, the company responsible for the creation of Four Loko, is not giving up on the beverage for consumption purposes. After the FDA threatened to ban the drink in November 2010, the company decided to rework the formula.
The brand removed the caffeine from the drink, which they feel will make it safer for consumers. The new Four Loko XXX Limited Edition was released in early January 2011.
Joshua Bonville, a junior majoring in biology, is skeptical about the old beverage and the recent change.
“The old drink was terrible to begin with,” Bonville said. “The new Four Loko XXX will probably taste just as bad because the alcohol is what gives it the terrible taste. Plus taking away the caffeine takes away the whole appeal of the drink because it was advertised as an energy drink mixed with alcohol.”
A different flavor will be featured every month, starting with green apple. In May, blueberry lemonade will hit stores.