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Was sprite ever in a green bottle?

Sprite is one of the most popular and well-known lemon-lime flavored sodas. It was created by The Coca-Cola Company and has been around since the 1960s. Sprite is known for its crisp, refreshing taste and iconic green packaging. But was this citrus soda ever actually sold in a green bottle?

The History of Sprite

Sprite was first developed in West Germany in 1959 under the name “Fanta Klare Zitrone.” It was launched in the United States under the Sprite brand name in 1961 as a competitor to 7Up. The original Sprite bottles were green and styled similarly to Coca-Cola’s classic contoured bottle shape. Early Sprite advertising played up the carbonated drink’s lemon-lime flavor and focused on Sprite being an adventurous, fun, and youthful brand.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Sprite established itself as one of the top lemon-lime sodas along with competitors 7Up and Mountain Dew. The familiar green bottle helped distinguish Sprite from other sodas on the shelves. Sprite expanded internationally throughout the 1960s and became available in over 100 countries by the end of the decade.

In the 1970s, Sprite began to define itself as “The Uncola” in its marketing to further differentiate itself from Coca-Cola’s cola image. Sprite highlighted its crisp, clean taste in contrast to traditional darker sodas. The “Uncola” campaign was very successful and helped boost Sprite’s popularity with younger soda drinkers.

The Move Away from Glass Bottles

In the 1970s and 1980s, the soda industry started moving away from heavy, breakable glass bottles and shifting towards lighter and more durable aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Coca-Cola began experimenting with packaging Sprite in cans and plastic bottles. The first plastic 2 liter bottles of Sprite debuted in 1978. By the mid 1980s, the majority of Sprite packaging had transitioned to aluminum cans and plastic bottles.

There were a few factors that motivated the switch away from glass:

  • Cans and plastic bottles were lighter and easier to ship and transport large quantities.
  • Aluminum cans and plastic PET bottles were more durable and rugged for on-the-go portability.
  • Consumers preferred recycling aluminum and plastic over returning glass bottles.
  • Plastic bottles allowed for resealable caps and convenience.
  • Cans and plastic cost less to produce than glass.

By the late 1980s, Sprite in its iconic green glass bottle was becoming rare. The majority of Sprite packaging had shifted to aluminum cans by 1986 and clear or green plastic bottles were becoming the norm. However, some glass Sprite bottles were still produced into the 1990s before being phased out completely.

The Introduction of Clear Packaging

In the early 1990s, Sprite underwent a major packaging redesign. Coca-Cola introduced clear Sprite bottles in North America in 1990 before rolling them out globally. The clear plastic bottles provided a modern update and allowed more visibility of Sprite’s bright lemon-lime color.

There were a few motivations behind the shift to clear packaging:

  • Clear plastic bottles were easier to recycle than green plastic.
  • Consumers reacted positively to the clean, modern look.
  • Sprite could feature its iconic silver and green logo more prominently on a clear background.
  • A transparent bottle highlighted Sprite’s bright citrus color.

The move to clear plastic bottles marked the end of Sprite’s iconic green glass bottle. While nostalgic fans may miss the green glass, the shift to plastic provided practical advantages. The last glass Sprite bottles were phased out between 1993 and 1994. Some exceptions were 2 liter bottles which continued using green plastic into the 2000s.

Sprite Packaging in Recent Years

In the 2000s and 2010s, Sprite has continued updating its packaging look. In 2009, Sprite adopted a new logo and reduced the amount of green on its packaging. More recently in 2018, Sprite updated its can and bottle design again with a transparent background to put more focus on the bright green logo. The dominant clear bottle look has now become Sprite’s signature style.

Here is a timeline summarizing the major changes in Sprite packaging over the decades:

Decade Sprite Packaging
1960s Green glass bottles
1970s-1980s Shift from green glass to aluminum cans and green plastic bottles
1990s Introduction of clear plastic bottles globally
2000s-2010s Updated logo and predominantly clear packaging

While nostalgic soda fans may miss the days of Sprite’s green glass bottles, the shifts to aluminum, green plastic, and now clear plastic were driven by practical factors like cost, durability, and recyclability. The iconic green glass bottle was phased out by the early 1990s.


In conclusion, Sprite was originally bottled in a green glass bottle from its launch in the 1960s up until the late 1980s. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, the soda industry made a major shift away from glass and towards aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Sprite followed this packaging trend by introducing aluminum cans and green plastic bottles. Then in the 1990s, Sprite transitioned to the now signature clear plastic bottle. So while the original green glass bottles are no longer used, they represent an iconic era in Sprite’s decades-long history as a lemon-lime flavored soda.