Bryan Newland, the president of Bay Mills Indian Community reservation near Sault Ste. Marie, was walking his dog along the beach of Lake Superior and picking up litter when a bright flash of color caught his eye.
He initially assumed it was a regular Pepsi can. Upon further inspection, he realized it was a surprisingly preserved can from 1973. The label commemorates Pepsi's 75th anniversary.
"When I got closer I thought, holy smokes, this can is older than I am," he says.
Newland says he's not surprised that it would be so well-preserved.
"Lake Superior is cold, and it's freshwater," he says. "It's kind of renowned for preserving the stuff that falls into the lake." Newland says he previously spotted what appeared to be an engine on the beach not far from where he found the can, and has seen old wagon wheels under the surface of the water while kayaking.
He says he plans to keep the can as a curio.
"I'm not an antique collector or anything, but it just looked interesting," Newland says. "It has the opening where it looks like there was a foil tab. And it says, ironically, 'please don't litter.'"
Newland posted his find on Twitter. As Bridge magazine reporter Jim Malewitz pointed out, Michigan didn't implement its 10-cent deposit until five years after the can was manufactured, in 1978. The law was designed to reduce litter.
Five years before Michigan implemented the bottle/can deposit bill! https://t.co/HrjQnPG1Um— Jim Malewitz (@Jmalewitz) November 6, 2019
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