According to CNN, the Coca-Cola Company said a few days ago that starting on August 1, it will change the packaging from green to clear plastic, ending the iconic green bottle with more than 60 years of history.
Sprite's current plastic packaging contains green polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
, which typically cannot be recycled into new bottles, a key move the company hopes to reduce plastic waste.
"Removing color from bottles can improve the quality of recycled materials
," Julian Ochoa, CEO of R3CYCLE, a plastics group that helps Coca-Cola improve recycling, said in a statement. "After recycling, clear PET Sprite bottles can be remade into bottles, help drive a circular economy for plastics
PET plastic bottles are not only widely used in the packaging of carbonated drinks, drinking water, fruit juice, enzymes and tea drinks, etc., but are also the most widely used beverage packaging today, and are widely used in food, chemical, pharmaceutical packaging and many other fields. PET plastic has a wide range of applications in the field of packaging, and PET plastic is used in both packaging films and coils. But when these materials are discarded, there is the question of what to do with them.
The physical recycling method of PET plastic bottles is relatively simple, mainly drying and granulating the cleaned PET plastic bottle waste. The physical treatment of PET plastic bottles is closely related to the sorting process. There are two main physical recycling methods: one is to cut waste PET plastic bottles into pieces, separate HDPE, aluminum, paper and adhesive from PET, and then wash, dry and pelletize the PET fragments. The second is to first separate the non-PET bottle caps, bases, labels and other impurities on the waste PET plastic bottles by mechanical methods, and then wash, crush and granulate. Recycled PET must not contain PVC impurities, otherwise it will affect the color of PET.
The company says their users have also noticed a revamped logo and packaging design on the Sprite bottle, which has been refined to provide a more "consistent look." As for the green label that has always been used, it will still be used on the Sprite bottle.
In addition, other beverages in the Coca-Cola product line that use green bottles, including Fresca, Seagram's and Mello Yello, will also be replaced with clear packaging in the coming months.
The beverage giant is often criticized for creating a lot of plastic waste. In 2020, the company was named the world's number one plastic polluter by environmental firm Break Free From Plastic. Its packaging appears in public places such as parks and beaches in 51 countries, generating some 13,834 pieces of waste plastic.
In 2018, Coca-Cola announced a World Without Waste program, with the ultimate goal of recycling every bottle of packaging sold by 2030. The plan includes the launch last year of a new 13.2-ounce bottle made from 100 percent recycled plastic material.
The Coca-Cola Company also announced Wednesday that most of its Dasani bottles in the U.S. and Canada will now be sold with 100 percent recycled plastic. The innovation is expected to reduce plastic waste by approximately 20 million pounds compared to 2019.