Coca-Cola's 100% Recycled Bottle Comes in an Unusual New Size
This week, Coca-Cola announced that many of the beverage giant's best-known brands would begin being sold in 100-percent recycled PET (rPET) plastic bottles for the first time in the United States. But though this news is certainly good for the environment, consumers may notice something more physically distinct about these rPET bottles: Some of them will hold a previously unseen amount of soda… 13.2-ounces.
No offense to the 16.9-ounce bottle six-pack, but typically, Coca-Cola products come in relatively straightforward package sizes—a 12-ounce can, 20-ounce bottle, or in two liters. But this new 13.2-ounce bottle—Coca-Cola's first new size in a decade since it released the 7.5-ounce mini can in 2010—is intended to land in a less-mathematically-even middle ground. In announcing the new bottle, Coca-Cola said it is "conveniently sized in a more sippable package and reduces the use of new plastic."
"On-the-go consumers have been telling us they want an option like this, because it's just the right amount for the 'snacking' occasion," Tammy Lee, brand manager for Coca-Cola Trademark, stated. "We believe this innovation delivers the double benefit of convenience and sustainability."
In theory, these individually-sold 13.2-ounce bottles are significantly smaller than Coca-Cola's standard stand-alone 20-ounce bottle while also maintaining the reclosable convenience that can't be found in a 12-ounce can. That said, Coca-Cola has already sold 12-ounce plastic bottles—but only in an eight-pack. And yet, though Coca-Cola doesn't explicitly state it, launching new rPET bottles in a new size is also a way to bring attention to this new initiative—and along those lines, all of the company's rPET bottles will be labeled with "Recycle Me Again" messaging.
"Our packaging is our biggest, most visible billboard," Alpa Sutaria, vice president and general manager, sustainability, for Coca Cola's North America Operating Unit, mentioned in the announcement. "We're using the power of our brands, leading with Coca-Cola, to educate, inspire and advance our sustainability priorities."
The new 13.2-ounce 100-percent rPET bottles will debut this month in parts of the Northeast, Florida and California for Coca-Cola brands like Coke, Diet Coke, and Coke Zero Sugar before rolling out nationwide and in additional brands starting this summer. Sprite will also be launched in the 13.2-ounce bottle in select markets this month, and unlike Sprite's previous green packaging, these new bottles will be clear which Coca-Cola says "makes it easier for bottles to be recycled and remade into new bottles." All Sprite packaging will be clear by 2022.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's old-fashioned 20-ounce bottles will also be getting a 100-percent rPET makeover. The first versions of these bottles made from entirely recycled plastic will launch this month as well, and continue to roll out across different brands and states throughout the year.