The Coca-Cola Company is hoping to clear the way for more sustainable operations with its new Sprite bottles.
The company announced Wednesday that its signature lemon-lime soft drink, which has long been sold in green-tinted plastic bottles, will soon be packaged in clear bottles to make them more easily recyclable into new drink containers or food-grade packaging.
Sprite’s current bottles, made from green-tinged polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging, are already recyclable. But these bottles are often separated from clear PET bottles to be recycled into “single-use items like clothing and carpeting,” and thus removed from the “circular economy” for recycled plastics, Wednesday’s press release says.
The newer Sprite bottles, made with clear plastic, will begin to roll out in North America on Aug. 1, according to the Coca-Cola Company. Select clear bottles of Sprite made from recycled PET, meanwhile, had already been launched in the Northeast, California and Florida in 2021, per an earlier press release.
In addition to its Sprite bottles, the Coca-Cola Company announced that Fresca, Seagram’s and Mello Yello beverages will transition to clear bottles in the “coming months.” The Dasani brand will also expand its transition toward the use of 100% recycled bottles (excluding the labels and the caps).
The Coca-Cola Company estimates that Dasani’s transition alone will save 20 million pounds of plastic and at least 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas in 2023.
Julian Ochoa, the CEO of R3CYCLE, a company working with Coca-Cola reach its recycling goals, said Sprite’s new bottles will hopefully produce a similar outcome, and help to meet demand for rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate materials), which is outpacing supply.
“Sprite’s move to clear will help us introduce more 100% rPET bottles like DASANI is launching and keep more bottles in the circular economy,” Ochoa said.