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Sprite Gets Naked, for Now

Coca Cola strips the labels from its Sprite on-the-go rPET bottles in the company’s first U.K. trial of label-less packaging.

In place of a label, the bottle will feature an embossed logo on the front, with product and nutritional information laser-engraved on the back.
In place of a label, the bottle will feature an embossed logo on the front, with product and nutritional information laser-engraved on the back.

Coca‑Cola is temporarily removing the labels from its 500-mL Sprite and Sprite Zero on-the-go bottles in a limited trial of label-less packaging. Instead of a label, the bottle will be decorated with an embossed logo on the front of the pack. Laser-engraved product and nutritional information will appear on the back.

According to Coca-Cola, while the existing labels are fully recyclable, removing them simplifies the recycling process. Eliminating the labels means there is no need to separate them from the bottles during the recycling process, and it reduces the amount of packaging material used overall.


   Read related article, “Coke Europe Adopts Tethered HDPE Closure, Follows EU Directive”


Says Javier Meza, vice president of marketing for Coca‑Cola Europe, “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.”

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.


   Read how Sprite switched from green to clear plastic to improve recycling of the bottle.


“We want to help our customers minimize the environmental impact of the products they buy, including removing plastic and packaging when possible,” says Tesco Head of Packaging and Food Waste Strategy James Bull. “This trial of label-less packaging by Sprite is a great example of how brands are innovating to provide those solutions.”

Like existing Sprite packaging, the clear, 100% recycled PET bottles feature non-recyclable green and transparent attached caps identifying them as Sprite or Sprite Zero, respectively.

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 the cap stays connected to the bottle after opening to reduce the potential for littering, and it has 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.  PW

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