Coca-Cola strips labels from Sprite on-the-go bottles in Brighton and Hove - This is why
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As part of the company’s first UK trial of ‘label-less’ packaging, consumers will find the new bottles in eight Tesco Express Stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London, and Manchester from January to March 2024
“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,” a spokesperson for Coca-Cola Great Britain said.
"Labels on 500ml Sprite and Sprite Zero bottles will be replaced with an embossed logo on the front of the pack and laser-engraved product information on the back.”
While existing labels are fully recyclable, removing them ‘simplifies the recycling process’, the company said.
A spokesperson added: “It removes the need to separate them from the bottles during the recycling process, and reduces the amount of packaging material used overall.
“Like existing Sprite packaging, the clear, 100 per cent recycled PET bottles feature 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.”
Coca-Cola 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, vice president of franchise operations for Great Britain & Ireland at Coca-Cola said: “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, vice president of marketing at Coca-Cola Europe, said the trial is a ‘milestone for the industry’.
He added: “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 at Tesco said this pilot of label-less packaging by Sprite is a ‘great example of how brands are innovating to provide those solutions’, adding: “We want to help our customers minimise the environmental impact of the products they buy, including removing plastic and packaging when possible.”
Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy said the environmental charity ‘welcomes this exciting and innovative trial’.
She added: “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.”
For more information about the label-less Sprite trial, please visit: www.coca-cola.com/gb/en/brands/sprite/label-less/faq