Coca-Cola Australia today announced that after nearly 60 years, Sprite’s iconic green plastic bottles will switch to clear plastic, making them easier to recycle into new bottles locally.
The switch from green to clear Sprite bottles will increase the likelihood of these bottles being remade into new bottles, meaning that they can have more than one life.
Kate Miller, Marketing Director at Coca-Cola Australia said:
“At Coca-Cola, we want our bottles to have more than one life. All our Sprite bottles under 1 litre are already made from 100 per cent recycled PET plastic (excluding caps and labels). This initiative helps to support recycling systems and gives our bottles the best chance of being recycled and processed into new bottles locally. While Australians have known and loved Sprite in its iconic green bottle for nearly 60 years, we know this is the right thing to do, as we support the transition to circularity for our packaging.”
Planet Ark Environmental Foundation, Australia's leading environmental behaviour change organisation, welcomed today’s announcement and its potential impact on plastics recycling in Australia.
Planet Ark CEO, Rebecca Gilling said:
"We all have a role to play in driving our transition to a circular economy in Australia and this is a significant move by Coca-Cola Australia. It’s critical that companies like Coca-Cola continue to invest in making sure their products have the best chance of being recycled. If bottles are collected and recycled and then turned into new bottles locally – this ultimately means less demand for new plastic, as well as reduced carbon emissions.”
Gilling added that Container Deposit Schemes, which are now available or planned to launch in every Australian state and territory, provide an excellent means of ensuring clean recycling streams.
“Choosing to recycle plastic bottles via Container Deposit Schemes helps to keep them out of landfill and gives them the best chance of becoming another bottle. Keeping the collected material in Australia is essential to driving circular outcomes.”
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is part of the Circular Plastics Australia (PET) joint venture, in collaboration with PACT Group, Cleanaway Waste Management and Asahi Beverages, which has invested in two state-of-the-art PET recycling facilities that turn empty PET bottles into recycled content for new packages.
The first site became operational in Albury, NSW in 2022, and a second facility will open in Altona, Victoria in late 2023. Combined, the sites will have the capacity to recycle the equivalent of 2 billion 600ml PET plastic bottles each year, right here on Australian shores.
The change in Australia will affect all pack sizes of Sprite Classic bottles in PET plastic packaging and is expected to be complete by August 2023 as retailers sell through existing stock.