Naked For Now: Coca-Cola’s label-free Sprite bottles in a move towards sustainability 


Naked For Now: Coca-Cola’s label-free Sprite bottles in a move towards sustainability 


Coca-Cola has embarked on a notable trial in the UK, eliminating labels from Sprite bottles as a part of an innovative attempt to streamline recycling efforts and cut down on packaging waste. This pilot project will see 5,000 bottles each of Sprite and Sprite Zero, all 500 mL, go label-free. Instead, the bottles will feature an embossed logo on the front and laser-engraved product details on the back. This initiative underscores the company’s commitment to minimizing its environmental footprint, with the label-free bottles being crafted from 100% recycled PET, excluding the caps.


Distinctively, these bottles will bear green or transparent caps for Sprite and Sprite Zero respectively and will be distributed across eight Tesco Express Stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London, and Manchester until March 2024, to gauge consumer reception and the practicality of the change. If this trial proves successful, it could herald a new era of label-less packaging for a wider array of Coca-Cola products, though the company stresses the importance of a thorough evaluation process before implementing any permanent changes. This is articulated through their “Naked For Now” advertising campaign, highlighting the trial’s exploratory nature.  


Coca-Cola is leveraging two cutting-edge technologies for this trial: fiber lasers for laser engraving and innovative molding techniques for embossing. This UK trial is part of Coca-Cola’s broader experimentation with label-less packaging, following similar trials in South Korea, Japan, and Switzerland with other products in their lineup. These previous trials have provided valuable insights, particularly in the application of label-less designs on single-unit, on-the-go 500 mL bottles—a first for in-store sales in the UK. 


This project is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 2.8 kg for every 1,000 bottles produced without labels and achieve a 2% reduction in plastic weight per bottle. Coca-Cola’s efforts to explore alternative methods for conveying product information without traditional labels underscore a significant shift towards sustainability.


Dusan Stojankic, Coca-Cola Great Britain’s vice president of Franchise Operations, and Javier Meza, vice president of Marketing at Coca-Cola Europe, both highlight the importance of this trial in advancing recycling, reducing waste, and minimizing packaging’s environmental impact. 


The trial represents a significant step in Coca-Cola’s “World Without Waste” initiative, aiming to collect and recycle one bottle or can for everyone sold by 2030. As the trial advances, Coca-Cola looks forward to gathering valuable insights to shape future sustainability strategies, signaling a promising direction towards reducing packaging waste and promoting a more sustainable future. 


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