What do you picture when you think of Sprite? Lemons? Limes? A small humanoid creature with wings? I’m guessing most of you picture a green can or bottle with the word Sprite in white lettering. Well as far as I can tell, the can is staying the same, but that ubiquitous light green bottle is getting a drastic makeover (and no, it’s not just taking off its glasses and putting on a little lipstick like the female lead in a rom com). Starting August 1, plastic Sprite bottles will now be clear—and for a good reason.
Why the sudden change? Why lose out on the instant recognizability of the bright green bottle? Turns out, Sprite has a reason so good you might even call it a cause. Essentially, Coca-Cola (the company that makes Sprite) is trying to make more bottles out of recycled materials. They are switching their bottled water brand Dasani over to recycled PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, aka recyclable plastic) bottles as we speak. But in order to create new bottles from recycled ones, they need more bottles to recycle. That’s where the Sprite color change comes in
According to the company, “although green PET is recyclable, the recycled material is more often converted into single-use items like clothing and carpeting that cannot be recycled into new PET bottles.” However, clear PET can be made into new food-grade bottles when recycled, helping to decrease the number of new bottles that have to be made and introduced into the system.
Sprite’s move to clear bottles apparently helps Coca-Cola launch Dasani’s 100% rPET (recycled PET) bottles, and opens the door for them to make even more recycled bottles in the future. In fact, Coca-Cola North America announced that all of their green plastic brands, which includes Fresca, Seagram’s, and Mello Yello, will be switched over to clear plastic in the coming months. This rules. Not only is it super exciting and rare to see a huge company go the extra mile to help our planet, but also, it’s just fun to see iconic packaging get a dramatic refresh.
Now the question still remains: Will this actually make a difference in regard to climate change? I sure hope so. But all we can do is wait and see. Hopefully, in time, the positive impact (much like Sprite bottles) will become clear.