The Coca-Cola owned brands will see 500ml rPET Sprite and Sprite Zero bottles ditching the label in favour of an embossed logo on the front of the pack. Meanwhile, product and nutritional information will be laser-engraved on the back (as pictured, right).
While the existing labels are fully recyclable, the brand believes removing them may simplify the recycling process. This is because it eliminates the need to separate them from the bottles during the recycling process and reduces the amount of packaging material used overall.
Like existing Sprite packaging, the clear, 100% recycled PET bottles feature green and transparent attached caps identifying them as Sprite or Sprite Zero respectively.
In recent years, Coca-Cola has introduced several design changes to help reduce packaging waste, including turning Sprite bottles from green to clear plastic to make them easier to recycle back into bottles. It also introduced attached caps to its bottles, in an effort to avoid littering and encourage the cap to be recycled alongside the vessel.
Commenting on this latest move, Stephen Moorhouse, GB general manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, said: “We want to help create a future where plastic drink packaging will always have more than one life. 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.”
Javier Meza, VP marketing, Coca-Cola Europe, added: “The trial we are announcing today is a milestone for the industry. It’s the first time these two technologies have been used in a pilot globally, where a Coca-Cola product will appear in a label-less, single-unit bottle sold in-store. Although the design change may sound simple, this is a big shift from a marketing perspective. This trial could contribute to longer-term changes to the way brands communicate with their consumers.”
Consumers will find the new ‘label-less’ bottles in eight Tesco Express Stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London, and Manchester from January to March 2024.