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Coca-Cola just made this major change to its soda

Published Feb 10th, 2021 6:49PM EST
Coke Bottles
Image: Coca-Cola

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  • Coca-Cola this month will introduce a new 13.2oz bottle made out of 100% recycled plastic.
  • Over the next few months, the company’s 20oz bottles will transition to 100% recycled plastic in select markets.
  • Coca-Cola is aiming to use 50% recycled material in all of its bottles and cans by 2030.

Coca-Cola this week announced a significant change that will impact a portion of its product lineup. And no, you don’t have to worry about the company reformulating its beloved soda formula à la the New Coke fiasco from the mid-80s. Rather, the soda giant, as part of a broad effort to be more environmentally friendly, said that it plans to start using 100% recycled plastic for its bottled products in certain geographic regions.

The shift to 100% recycled plastic won’t happen instantaneously. The initiative will start with the roll-out of new 13.2oz bottles of Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, and other Coke flavors later this month in a handful of Northeast states, Florida, and California.

Following that, the company’s popular 20oz bottles — which will include Coke varieties and its Dasani brand water — will shift to 100% recycled plastic in California, New York, and Texas in the next few months.

Coca-Cola’s initiative is part of the company’s “World Without Waste” plan it launched in 2018. According to the plan, the company is aiming to make Coca-Cola packaging 100% recyclable by 2025. The plan also calls for using 50% recycled material in all of its bottles and cans by 2030.

“Given our scale and resources, we realize our unique opportunity and clear responsibility to make a positive difference in the global plastic crisis, bringing us closer to our ambitious World Without Waste goals,” Coca-Cola VP and general manager Alpa Sutaria said in a press release.

“Plastic is a valuable packaging resource and these innovations in the U.S. represent meaningful action that focus not just on what goes into the bottles, but on innovation of the bottles themselves,” Sutaria added.

Incidentally, Coke products made out of 100% recycled plastic will include messaging on the cap bottles imploring customers to recycle the bottles after consumption.

Coca-Cola’s plan is clearly a step in the right direction given the company’s less than stellar history concerning environmental friendliness. The company, for example, was named the worst plastic polluter on the planet in 2018 and 2019 by an environmental watchdog group.

The 2019 report reads in part:

This year’s most frequently identified companies in the brand audits – Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo – have offered mostly false solutions to the plastics crisis, underscoring how important it is for voices from beyond the consumer goods sector to demand accountability and call for an end to single-use plastics. The list of top polluters is again filled with some of the world’s most commonly known brands.

The good news is that Coca-Cola is finally starting to take concrete steps to address some longstanding issues with its products.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.