In a two-month UK trial, The Coca Cola Co. is stripping off the labels from their Sprite bottles to help simplify the recycling process. These new trial bottles feature an embossed logo on the front of the pack and laser-engraved product information on the back. And just like the existing bottles, they come in clear, 100% recycled plastic with an attached cap.

Stripping off feels good, as stated by The Coca Cola Co. in the UK. “By removing the labels we are removing the need to separate them from the bottles during the recycling process. While existing labels are fully recyclable, stripping them off helps to reduce the amount of packaging material used overall.”

Trialing label-less is just a small step, but alongside existing changes made to Sprite bottles, like making the 500ml Sprite bottles from recycled plastic (the bottles and the labels, not the caps), removing green color from the plastic bottles and keeping the caps attached, the company is looking to make positive change. They are also investing in new designs to reduce the amount of packaging used, creating lightweight bottles and reducing the materials used when packing up and sending out to stores.

The label-less trial will run at eight Tesco Express stores in Brighton and Hove, Bristol, London, and Manchester, from January to March 2024.

The move is interesting, particularly from a branding perspective. While adopting a label-less concept, this doesn’t equate to a brand-less approach, Sprite has effectively retained key elements of its brand identity within the label-less design, including the iconic embossed bubbles and logo, as well as the recognizable green or transparent caps.

The trial is part of Coca-Cola’s broader efforts to reduce its packaging waste, which includes transitioning Sprite bottles from green to clear plastic and introducing attached caps to prevent littering.