The change began in Philippines late last year, followed by Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Fiji and the latest, Hong Kong which did so in February 2020.
In Singapore, the clear Sprite bottles are available in the 500mL and 1.5mL formats in stores nationwide.
It is made with 10% recycled PET (rPET), and is 100% recyclable.
Sharon Tan, communications and sustainability director of Coca-Cola Singapore and Malaysia told FoodNavigator-Asia: “We’re heartened to see greater awareness among Singaporeans about the importance of recycling. We believe companies have a role to play as well, which is why we transitioned our Sprite green bottles to clear bottles and will continue to use more recycled content in our packaging.”
The company hopes its initiative in Singapore can also play a role in the country’s Zero Waste Masterplan and its goals by 2025.
“We can reuse these recycled materials into new sustainable packaging for our beverages and inspire consumers to help us create a healthy, debris-free environment in Singapore,” Cola-Cola said.
No green is more green
A study by a post-consumer packaging advisory firm GA Circular found that while coloured PET bottles can be recycled, a change from coloured PET to transparent PET will significantly increase the value of the plastic in the after-use market. This also means that the plastic can be repurposed or reused many times, creating a circular solution.
GA Circular calculated that if all PET bottles entering Greater Kuala Lumpur (KL) became transparent, this would result in an additional PET collected of 645 tonnes per year. This can increase collection for recycling rates for PET bottles by around 6% to 29%.
Tan pointed out: “The move to transition PET bottles of Sprite to a clear, recyclable bottle design not only moves us one step closer towards our vision of a World Without Waste. It also allows us to help the recycling industry, specifically the informal waste sector and waste aggregators, to have a better value recyclable stream for clear recyclable plastics.”
Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste was launched in 2018 and aims to commit to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one its sells by 2030.
Tan said in markets such as the Philippines, the transition had been well-received by waste collectors and waste aggregators alike as the move had increased the price of recyclable PET bottles in terms of value in the after-use market.
The plan now is to expand the transition of its clear Sprite bottles to other markets in South East Asia throughout the year. The same is also ongoing in Western Europe since 2019.
The next products from Coca-Cola to transition from coloured bottles to clear bottles is its Schweppes Sparkling Water.
Tan told us its sparkling water bottles in Hong Kong would be switched from blue to clear by the end of this year.
Last year, Coca-Cola has transitioned all its single-serve PET bottles to 100% recycled plastic in Australia and established a bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in the Philippines.