Coca-Cola North America is improving the sustainability of its Dasani and Sprite packaging. Dasani is debuting bottles made from 100 percent recycled PET plastic (the caps and labels will remain unchanged), and Sprite is rolling out clear plastic bottles to replace the green to increase the likelihood of the plastic being repurposed.
Dasani’s shift toward recycled plastic is consistent with its pledge to remove the equivalent of 2 billion “virgin” plastic bottles (bottles never recycled) by 2027 compared to 2021, as well as the company’s World Without Waste goal to use at least 50 percent recycled material in all bottle and can production by 2030.
The company projects that Dasani’s transition will save over 20 million pounds of new plastic compared to 2019 and cut over 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2023.
“Demand for rPET [recycled polyethylene terephthalate] currently exceeds supply, so the first step to scaling up use of 100% rPET across our portfolio is building a sustainable pipeline of high-quality material,” said Chris Vallette, SVP of technical innovation and stewardship at Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. “We do this by working with communities to boost PET recycling and collection; collaborating with recycling partners; and, finally, securing rPET to help ensure the material for our bottles is used again and again.”
Sprite’s choice to shift all PET packaging to clear beginning August 1 is based on the fact that recycled green material is often converted into single-use items that cannot be recycled again. As a method of avoiding discoloring recycled food-grade packaging, recycling sorting processes separate colored plastic from clear, which the company hopes to avoid.
“Taking colors out of bottles improves the quality of the recycled material,” said Julian Ochoa, CEO of R3CYCLE, a company working with Coca-Cola to enable bottle-to-bottle recycling across the U.S. bottler’s 14 state-territory. “This transition will help increase [the] availability of food-grade rPET. When recycled, clear PET Sprite bottles can be remade into bottles, helping drive a circular economy for plastic.”
Following suit, the company’s entire line of green plastic products, including Fresca, Seagram’s, and Mello Yello, will transition to clear over the next few months.