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Coca-Cola Just Launched 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles in North America

By Anders Bylund - Updated Feb 9, 2021 at 3:35PM

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The soft drink titan is also changing the look of Sprite bottles to make them easier to recycle.

Coca-Cola (KO 1.63%) just launched drink bottles made out of 100% recycled plastic for North American markets. The soft drink giant's all-recycled bottles will hit store shelves later this month in a handful of markets as a first step in a larger plan.

What's new?

First, drinks under the Coca-Cola trademark brand will hit the market in 20oz 100% recycled PET bottles in California, Texas, and New York. Next month, the same three states will see Dasani-branded bottled water products in fully recycled 20oz bottles, followed by environmentally friendly 20oz bottles for Smartwater products in New York and California this July.

Sprite is also launching recycled bottles this month, starting with a smaller 13.2oz bottle in a slightly different set of target markets, hitting Florida but not Texas. Sprite's trademark green plastic bottles will move to clear plastic, which the company says is easier to recycle, by the end of 2022.

Dozens of plastic bottles and cups floating in water.

Image source: Getty Images.

The labels on these bottles will carry a new twist on the familiar recycling message. Consumers will be asked to "Recycle Me Again."

"Our packaging is our biggest, most visible billboard," said Alpa Sutaria, vice president of sustainability for Coca-Cola's North America operating unit. "We're using the power of our brands, leading with Coca-Cola, to educate, inspire and advance our sustainability priorities."

Making a difference

According to Coke's press materials, these launches of recycled bottles in a handful of large markets will reduce Coca-Cola's greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 metric tons per year. The company will bring the annual use of new plastic 20% below its plastic production in 2018.

Coca-Cola's stated goal is to use at least 50% recycled materials in its global packaging by 2030. The domestic market was not the first geographical target for these new bottles -- Coca-Cola has already introduced similar bottles in 18 other markets, starting in 2018. Recycled materials already account for 94% of the company's North American packaging.

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