Coca-Cola Makes Huge Change To Soda Bottles

By Christopher Isaac | Published

When you hear that Coca-Cola is changing its soda bottles, you might envision some creative new design to give the iconic drink a new look. However, the change to their bottles is not visual but material. Acknowledging the harm that plastics are doing to the environment, Coca-Cola is demonstrating its commitment to minimizing its contribution to that problem by putting out new bottles made of 100% recycled plastic.

New Coca-Cola Bottles

Visually, the new Coca-Cola bottles are almost identical to what everyone is already familiar with. The only significant change is a new addition to the label letting consumers know that these bottles are now made with recycled plastic.

The bottles will also remain the same size as before, so regular Coca-Cola drinkers should have no complaints about the beverage’s taste or serving size being different.

Criticized For Plastic Pollution

Coca-Cola has long been criticized for being one of the world’s major contributors to plastic pollution due to the abundance of its products. In recent years, the soda company has been facing increasing pressure to make efforts to correct this as the world has become increasingly environmentally conscious.

Coca-Cola stated that switching to these new bottles should eliminate 83 million pounds of plastic from its products, equal to two billion Coca-Cola bottles.

Becoming The Norm

This change to the Coca-Cola bottles currently is focusing on their 20-ounce size and will include all versions of the beverage (classic, Zero, diet, Cherry, and so on).

The new bottles will be widely released this week and are expected to become the norm by this summer. The only parts of the bottles that will not be made from recycled plastic will be the label and the cap.

Despite these efforts, critics are still very vocal that Coca-Cola is not doing nearly enough. The environmental group Break Free from Plastic found that in 2023, Coca-Cola was still the world’s top plastic polluter, an unfortunate distinction that Coca-Cola has been given for the sixth year straight.

The Bare Minimum?

coca-cola bottle caps

Break Free from Plastic are not ready to praise Coca-Cola for their new bottles either. Emma Priestland, the environmentalist group’s global corporate campaigns coordinator, said of the change “Plastic recycling is never going to make a dent in the plastic pollution crisis — plastic was never designed to be recycled, and it cannot be recycled indefinitely.”

She feels that the new bottles are the bare minimum and actually demonstrates an unwillingness to fully fix the problem. “Coke already knows that real solutions look like reusable glass bottles in scalable reuse systems. Coca-Cola needs to urgently and dramatically reduce its use of plastic — full stop.”

Responsible For So Much Litter?

In an audit of plastic litter found around the world, Break Free from Plastic found that Coca-Cola bottles accounted for 33,830 out of 537,719 pieces of plastic that they collected.

That made Coca-Cola bottles the most commonly found discarded plastic items in public spaces. While that signals that the drink still remains popular, it also means that remnants of their product are in high abundance in many public areas.

Long-Term Goals


The new bottles are not the end of Coca-Cola’s plans. The company has a long-term goal of making half of its product portfolio comprised of recycled plastics by 2030.

In addition to its iconic soda, Coca-Cola owns other popular products like Sprite, Fanta, Dasani, Minute Maid, and Powerade. Enacting similar changes across all of its products could significantly reduce the number of single-use plastics Coca-Cola is currently responsible for producing.