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Coca-Cola's New Bottles

Coca-Cola Unveils New Bottles with Less Plastic

Coca-Cola rolls out a redesign! Its new bottles are lighter, using less plastic overall. This marks a major decade-long first for Coca-Cola’s PET bottle design. Initially, the lighter bottles will be available in 12, 16.9, and 20-ounce sizes for Coca-Cola, Sprite, Minute Maid, and Minute Maid Aguas Frescas.

A quote from Alejandro Santamaria, Coca-Cola’s senior director for global packaging development and innovation, highlights their ongoing efforts to reduce plastic use: “For the past ten years, we’ve been consistently working on ‘right-weighting’ our bottles, gradually decreasing their weight from 27 grams to 21 grams.

However, our previous designs had reached a point where further reduction seemed impossible. Fortunately, thanks to breakthrough innovations in modeling technology, we’ve been able to significantly reduce the weight of our bottles to 18.5 grams.

This represents a major step forward in minimizing the amount of materials used in our packaging. Importantly, these lighter bottles maintain the durability and functionality we need, while also ensuring the quality and taste of our beverages remain at the highest standard.”

Coca-Cola Cuts Plastic, Saves the Planet 

The press release goes further to quantify the environmental impact. They estimate the new bottle design reduces PET material usage by an amount equivalent to 800 million bottles! This translates to a significant reduction in carbon emissions, the same as taking 17,000 trucks off the road for a whole year.

However, the press release acknowledges that some might criticize their continued reliance on plastic. They don’t shy away from this point, admitting that a more ideal solution would involve materials with better recycling rates, refillable containers, or some other innovation that drastically cuts down on plastic waste.

Coca-Cola’s Sustainability Strategy

While Coca-Cola’s efforts are a step in the right direction, some argue they could be doing more. Critics point out that the company’s sustainability goals, particularly regarding plastic, lack ambition and primarily focus on using more recycled PET.

However, even these seemingly minor changes can have a substantial impact on Coca-Cola’s scale. For example, switching Sprite bottles from green to clear plastic makes them more readily recyclable, leading to a significant reduction in overall plastic use. Admittedly, this alone won’t eliminate single-use plastic waste, but it’s a positive move nonetheless.

Coca-Cola’s redesign focuses on reducing plastic. While these changes might seem small, they add up significantly. It’s encouraging to see a major corporation like Coca-Cola embrace “semi-sustainable” practices.

But is this enough? Absolutely not. Beverage giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have the potential to make a much bigger impact. Simply trimming a few grams of plastic won’t solve the problem. They need to push for more substantial solutions.