Alex Tye/Suppa Images/Lightrocket via Getty Images. The Coca-Cola Company
For more than 60 years, Sprite has been packaged in iconic green bottles. Now, that era is over.
Starting August 1, the Coca-Cola Company, the maker of the spirit, will package the Lemon Lime drink in clear plastic bottles in North America. The company announced on Wednesday.
Coca-Cola says that by bottling the spirits in clear plastic, the bottles can be recycled many times. According to the company, one of the goals is to increase the supply of recycled plastic that the company can use to make future bottles.
“Removing colors from bottles improves the quality of recycled materials,” Julian Ochoa, CEO of R3CYCLE, a plastic recycling company that works with Coca-Cola, said in a statement.
Green plastic Sprite bottles used to be recyclable. But colored plastic bottles are usually separated from clear plastic bottles during the recycling process to prevent discoloration of the recycled plastic, the company said. Green Spirit bottles were often recycled into things like clothes and carpets, which are more difficult to recycle.
Soft drink bottles are usually made of a type of plastic called polyethylene terephthalate or PET. PET is lightweight, food-safe and recyclable – but like other plastics, PET can take hundreds of years to decompose.
Concerns about single-use plastic have led to calls for food and beverage companies to increase sustainability by avoiding creating new plastic where possible.
For its part, Coca-Cola has experimented with bottles made from recyclable PET – also called rPET – along with the use of plant-based materials.
“Demand for rPET is already outstripping supply, so the first step to increasing the use of 100% rPET in our portfolio is building a sustainable pipeline of high-quality materials,” said Chris Vallete, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president of technical innovation and stewardship. Is. .
Clear Sprite bottles They were first introduced last year In a smaller, 13.2 oz. bottle, in a handful of locations across the United States
Other Coca-Cola drinks that come in green plastic bottles – including Fresca, Seagram’s and Mello Yello – are also being converted to clear plastic bottles.
In the statement, the company also announced that its bottled water brand, Dasani, will be packaged in bottles made entirely from recycled plastic. Coca-Cola estimates it will save more than 20 million pounds of newly created plastic compared to 2019.