HomeCSRSprite Goes Label-Less In Move To Reduce Environmental Impact

Sprite Goes Label-Less In Move To Reduce Environmental Impact

In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint and its impact on the environment, Coca‑Cola has announced that it will temporarily remove labels from its Sprite bottles in a limited UK trial.

The new trial will see labels removed from 10,000 single 500 ml Sprite and Sprite Zero bottles, which are made of 100% recycled PET, excluding the cap. The labels will be replaced with an embossed logo on the front of the pack, whilst laser-engraved product and nutritional information will appear on the back of pack.

According to Coca-Cola in a statement, It is the first time these two technologies are used in a pilot globally, the ‘label-less’ bottles will be available for purchase at eight Tesco Express Stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London, and Manchester between January and March 2024.

Speaking on the development, Dusan Stojankic, VP franchise operations, GB&I at Coca‑Cola Great Britain said “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.”

External labels or shrink sleeves on bottles provide crucial product information but can result in significant challenges during the recycling process, even when brands claim they are fully recyclable, as Coca-Cola does. High levels of colours, inks, and adhesives make the material unsuitable to be recycled back into labels, and there is presently limited infrastructure to recycle labels in Europe. During the bottle recycling process, labels are separated from the PET flakes using the float-and-sink method and are subsequently usually discarded. Label-less bottles simplify the recycling process by this skipping this step.

The naked bottles use 2% less plastic than their clothed counterparts, as measured by weight, according to Coca-Cola. This equates to a saving of 2.8 kg of CO2 equivalent for every 1,000 label-less bottles produced.

Coca-Cola has trialled label-less bottles in other markets, including Korea, Japan, and Switzerland. In 2020, South Korea introduced legislation prohibiting external labels on bottled water from January 2026. Its government estimated that label-less plastic water bottles could save the country 24.6 million tonnes of plastic waste per year.


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