UK – Coca-Cola is set to trial label-free packaging for its Sprite and Sprite Zero on-the-go bottles in an innovative move aimed at curbing plastic waste.  

The pilot initiative, scheduled to run between January and March 2024, will see labels removed from single 500ml bottles, featuring instead an embossed logo on the front. Laser-engraved product and nutritional information will be located on the back of the bottles. 

Consumers will find these limited-design bottles at eight Tesco Express stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London, and Manchester.  

While the existing labels are recyclable, Coca-Cola aims to further minimize packaging materials by adopting this label-less approach, eliminating the need to separate packaging components before recycling. 

The bottles used in this trial are said to be crafted from 100% recycled PET, with distinctive green and transparent attached caps differentiating between regular Sprite and Sprite Zero drinks, respectively. 

Dusan Stojankic, VP Franchise Operations, GB&I at Coca-Cola Great Britain, expressed the company’s commitment to creating a sustainable future for plastic drink packaging.  

Stojankic highlighted the trial’s significance in exploring alternative ways to share information while reducing packaging.

“Going label-less might seem like a small step, but it is one of several ways we are exploring making recycling easier, minimizing waste, and minimizing the impact of our packaging on the environment,” he stated. 

Coca-Cola has been actively engaged in efforts to reduce packaging waste, including redesigning products and lightweighting bottles. Previous initiatives involved replacing green plastic Sprite bottles with clear alternatives to enhance recyclability. The introduction of attached caps aims to address littering concerns. 

James Bull, head of Packaging and Food Waste Strategy at Tesco, commended the trial as a prime example of brands innovating to provide sustainable solutions. “We want to help our customers minimize the environmental impact of the products they buy, including removing plastic and packaging when possible,” stated Bull. 

Coca-Cola’s global commitment to sustainability is evident in its ongoing efforts to transition to 100% recycled plastic bottles, a practice already underway in the Philippines and Canada. 

These initiatives align with the company’s broader sustainability goals, including achieving 100% recyclability for its packaging by 2025 and incorporating at least 50% recycled plastic in all packaging by 2030. 

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