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Sprite will no longer be sporting its green bottle color

On Wednesday, Coca-Cola said that it's changing the packaging from green to clear plastic beginning August 1 to become more environmentally responsible. This is because Sprite's current plastic contains green polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is an additive that can't be recycled into new bottles, a key initiative for the company as it looks to reduce plastic waste. 


Since its debut in 1961, Sprite has attracted many customers with its vibrant green packaging. In 2014, a Coca-Cola Australia report praised the lemon-lime drink’s signature green color as contributing to its status as one of the most recognizable brands in the world. In addition, according to Brand Finance, in 2021, Sprite ranked No. 6 on the list of the world's most robust and most valuable Non-Alcoholic Drinks.


The new sprite bottle is clear but still has the green logo around it with a matching top. Julian Ochoa, CEO of R3CYCLE, a plastic group helping Coca-Cola improve its recycling, said the new bottles would be easier to recycle because of their improved material. 


"When recycled, clear PET Sprite bottles can be remade into bottles, helping drive a circular economy for plastic."


In 2018, Coke announced its "World Without Waste" plan with the ultimate goal of collecting and recycling one bottle or can for each one it sells by 2030. Part of the plan included launching a new 13.2-ounce bottle last year made from 100% recycled plastic material.

Other beverages in the Coke family that use green bottles, including Fresca, Seagram's, and Mello Yello, will also be replaced with clear containers in the coming months.


This change is occurring due to the constant criticism the company receives for contributing to environmentally damaging plastic waste. In 2020, the company was named the world's No. 1 plastic polluter by the environmental firm Break Free From Plastic. In addition, the company’s logos and branding were found on 13,834 pieces of discarded plastic in 51 countries, often in public spaces such as parks and beaches.

On Wednesday, the company announced that most Dasani bottles in the US and Canada will now be sold in 100% recycled plastic. Coke said this innovation is projected to reduce roughly 20 million pounds of new plastic waste compared to 2019.


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