Labels will be removed from Sprite and Sprite Zero 500ml rPET bottles as part of a limited trial designed to simplify the recycling process, and reduce use of packaging materials.
Coca-Cola will try “label-less” packaging for Sprite and Sprite Zero on-the-go bottles. During the pilot, labels will be temporarily removed from single 500ml Sprite and Sprite Zero bottles and replaced with an embossed logo on the front of the pack. Laser-engraved product and nutritional information will appear on the back of pack.
While existing labels are fully recyclable, removing them simplifies the recycling process. It removes the need to separate them from the bottles during the recycling process, and reduces the amount of packaging material used overall. Shoppers are being invited to try out the new limited design, which will be sold at eight Tesco Express Stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London and Manchester between January and March 2024.
In recent years, Coca‑Cola has introduced a number of design changes to help reduce packaging waste, including turning Sprite bottles from green to clear plastic to make them easier to recycle back into bottles.
It has also introduced attached caps to its bottles, ensuring that the cap stays connected to the bottle after opening to reduce the potential for littering; and invested in new designs to reduce the amount of packaging it uses, such as creating lightweight bottles and reducing the materials used in external packaging.
Dusan Stojankic, VP Franchise Operations, GB&I at Coca‑Cola Great Britain commented: “We want to help create a future where plastic drink packaging will always have more than one life. Labels contain valuable information for consumers, but with the help of technology we can now trial other ways to share this information while reducing the amount of packaging we use. Going label-less might seem like a small step, but it is one of several ways we are exploring making recycling easier, minimising waste, and minimising the impact of our packaging on the environment.”
Javier Meza, VP Marketing, Coca‑Cola Europe said: “The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for the industry. It’s the first time these two technologies have been used in a pilot globally, where a Coca‑Cola product will appear in a label-less, single-unit bottle sold in-store. Although the design change may sound simple, this is a big shift from a marketing perspective. This trial could contribute to longer-term changes to the way brands communicate with their consumers.”
James Bull, Head of Packaging and Food Waste Strategy at Tesco added: “We want to help our customers minimise the environmental impact of the products they buy, including removing plastic and packaging when possible. This trial of label-less packaging by Sprite is a great example of how brands are innovating to provide those solutions.”
Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy said: “It’s clear that, as a society, we need to reduce, reuse and recycle more, and waste less. Everyone, including businesses, need to be part of the solution. We welcome this exciting and innovative trial.
About Coca‑Cola Great Britain:
Coca‑Cola Great Britain is responsible for marketing 13 brands and over 55 products to consumers across Great Britain. Led by Coca‑Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognisable brands, its portfolio includes Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Oasis, glaceau smartwater, Schweppes and Powerade. The Company is committed to a World Without Waste. All its packaging is recyclable, and it has a global goal to collect and recycle every one of its bottles or cans by 2030.
*Sprite and Sprite Zero bottles, excluding the caps, are made from 100% recycled PET.
Source: Coca‑Cola Great Britain