New York (CNN Business) – Sprite will discontinue its green plastic packaging after more than 60 years.
Coca-Cola announced Wednesday that it will switch from green packaging to pure plastic starting August 1 as part of a broader effort to be more environmentally responsible.
The plastic in Sprite’s current bottle contains green polyethylene terephthalate (PET), an additive that cannot be recycled into new bottles, a major initiative for the company in its quest to reduce plastic waste.
“Removing color from bottles improves the quality of recycled materials,” Julián Ochoa, CEO of R3CYCLE, a plastics group that helps Coca-Cola improve recycling processes, said in a statement. “When recycled, Sprite’s clear PET bottles can be recycled into bottles, helping to achieve a circular economy for plastic.”
The company said customers will also notice a new logo and packaging design on Sprite bottles that are meant to offer “a more consistent look and sound worldwide.” The familiar shade of green will continue to be used in Sprite tags.
Other drinks that use green bottles in Coca-Cola’s portfolio, such as Fresca, Seagram’s and Mello Yello, will also be replaced with clear packaging in the coming months.
Coca-Cola on Tuesday reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations, citing strong demand, and raised full-year revenue expectations.
The beverage giant has often been criticized for its contribution to environmentally harmful plastic waste. In 2020, the company was named the No. 1 plastic pollutant in the world by environmental company Break Free From Plastic. Its logos and trademarks are found on 13,834 discarded plastic items in 51 countries, mainly in public places such as parks and beaches.
In 2018, Coca-Cola announced its World Without Waste initiative with the ultimate goal of collecting and recycling one bottle or can for every bottle it sells by 2030. Part of this initiative included the launch of a new 13.2 ounce (390 ml) bottle in the year The past is made of 100% recycled plastic.
The company also announced Wednesday that the majority of Dasani’s bottles in the United States and Canada will now be sold in 100% recycled plastic. Coca-Cola said this innovation is expected to reduce nearly 9,000 tons of new plastic waste compared to 2019.