A new bottle made entirely from recycled plastic material will soon find its way to shelves across the United States.
Beverage giant Coca-Cola Co. on Feb. 9 unveiled a new 13.2-ounce bottle made from 100 percent recycled PET. The more "sippable" bottle will package Coca-Cola's trademark brands and debut in the Northeastern states along with Florida and California.
The announcement includes other sustainability measures that support the company's commitment to reduce its use of virgin plastic by more than 20 percent across its North American portfolio.
The company will transition packaging for brands like Dasani and Smartwater to the 100 percent recycled PET, which will be offered in different package sizes in 2021.
The Sprite brand will also begin transitioning to a clear bottle, starting with the 13.2-ounce bottle size. Clear packaging makes the recycling of bottles easier. The move to clear packaging is expected to be completed by 2022. California already is considering a ban on tinted PET bottles to promote recycling.
Coca-Cola's 2018 World Without Waste goals include: the collection and recycling the same amount of material for each bottle or can the company sells by 2030; to make 100 percent of the packaging recyclable by 2025; and to use 50 percent recycled material in bottles and cans by 2030.
"Given our scale and resources, we realize our unique opportunity and clear responsibility to make a positive difference in the global plastic crisis, bringing us closer to our ambitious World Without Waste goals," said Alpa Sutaria, Coca-Cola's vice president and general manager of sustainability in North America in a statement.
"Plastic is a valuable packaging resource and these innovations in the U.S. represent meaningful action that focusses not just on what goes into bottles, but on innovation of the bottles themselves."
Environmental groups such as Break Free From Plastic responded to Coke's announcement by saying it does not go far enough to alleviate the amount of waste from company products.
While the bottle's caps and labels are not currently included in the pledge, in 2020 Coca-Cola introduced a closure for Dasani bottles that had 30 percent recycled content. The cap won Plastics News' Plastics Caps & Closures Innovation Award in September.
Caps on the 13.2 oz bottles will include the message, "Recycle Me Again," in hopes to encourage people to recycle and close the loop.