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Coke Debuts 100% Recycled Bottles

New bottle made from 100% recycled materials will be available first in The Coca-Cola Company’s biggest and most iconic brand.

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STARTING FEBRUARY 2021 in select states in the Northeast, Florida and California, Coca-Cola will roll out Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Flavors in the all-new bottles made from 100% rPET. The newly engineered bottle made from 100% recycled plastic material (rPET) will be available first in the company’s biggest and most iconic brand: Coca-Cola.

The new bottle will debut in what the company calls a more sippable size—13.2 oz. Coca-Cola plans to rollout the new eco-friendly “more sippable” bottle across additional sparkling beverage brands nationwide. In addition, the company says the transition to bottles made from 100% recycled plastic material across a selection of brands in its U.S. portfolio, including Dasani and Smartwater, which will be available in various package sizes this year.

Specifically, the portfolio approach announced will include 20-oz. bottles made from 100% rPET introduced across Coca-Cola, Coke Zero Sugar, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Flavors beginning February 2021 in California and New York and will continue to roll out this spring in Texas. Shoppers in select markets will also see a new 13.2-oz clear bottle from Sprite, also made from 100% rPET, at this time. (The new clear package makes it easier for bottles to be recycled and remade into new bottles.

All Sprite packaging will transition to clear packaging by the end of 2022.) Dasani and Smartwater will introduce 20-oz. bottles made from 100% rPET in March and July 2021, respectively.

“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,” says Alpa Sutaria, vice president and general manager, sustainability, North America Operating Unit, The Coca-Cola Company. “Plastic is a valuable packaging resource and these innovations in the U.S. represent meaningful action that focus not just on what goes into the bottles, but on innovation of the bottles themselves.”

In 2018, the company pledged robust World Without Waste goals to collect and recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for every packaged beverage the company sells by 2030, to make 100% of packaging recyclable by 2025 and to use 50% recycled material in bottles and cans by 2030. By introducing 100% rPET bottles in the United States, this marks a total of 19 markets globally offering recycled packaging. Using internal company tools and analyses, it is estimated that in the United States, these innovations represent a 10,000 metric tons reduction in greenhouse gas emissions annually—the equivalent of taking 2,120 cars off the road for one year.

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Amidst this rollout, The Coca-Cola Company aims to inspire everyone to join in reducing waste, with the largest on-package messaging effort by the company to-date. Each 100% rPET package* will feature on cap messaging, as well as a “Recycle Me Again” message on the label to encourage people to take action and recycle their bottles so that they can be remade into new ones, supporting closed-loop recycling systems and circular economies.

Linda Casey is the editor-in-chief of BXP.

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