Legendary music producers Mark Ronson and Madlib are teaming up with Sprite, Fresca and Seagram’s to showcase the parallels between recycling sounds and beverage bottles.
“Recycled Records” is an original EP created almost entirely from “recycled” sound samples captured during the PET bottle-to-bottle recycling process. The project is a creative and relevant way to celebrate the brands’ recent switch from green to clear PET packaging.
Ronson, a GRAMMY®-award winning producer and sampling master, and Madlib, a legendary artist and award-winning producer, are pioneers in the production technique of sampling. Since the 1970s, resourceful artists have turned snippets of pre-existing sonic source material into new tracks.
For the “Recycled Records” project, the two collaborators chopped, looped and distorted sounds from various points in the recycling process—from when clear PET bottles are mechanically sorted for recycling, to when preforms made from recycled plastic are blown into new bottles to be filled—to become basslines, snare drum sounds and other parts of the audio puzzle used to create a versatile collection of seven tracks.
Ambient sounds were captured at four facilities: WestRock in Atlanta, Ga.; Indorama Ventures in Fontana, Calif; Southeastern Container in Enka, N.C.; and Reyes Coca‑Cola Bottling in Downey, Calif.
“A great sample doesn’t have to come from other music, it just has to make you move,” said Madlib, also known as the "Loop Digga", "Quasimoto" and other aliases. “The thud of a plastic bottle going through a recycling facility is, in its own way, a piece of art, it has the ability to transform. Being able to take sounds from the recycling process that are so different from what I’ve used in the past, and flipping it into a whole new format, is a great example of the versatility of sound. Now any cat has the opportunity to make some dope sounds of their own.”
Ronson adds, “Sampling is an artform which is constantly regenerating. The tiniest sound, whether from an old record or from the world around us, can inspire an entire piece of music. I learnt from my heroes, DJ Premier and Q-Tip, who all made incredible albums from sampling… and it’s stayed an integral part of my work up until today.”
Starting today, consumers can listen to the “Recycled Records” EP and remix a library of recycled sounds to create their own original compositions at www.cokeurl.com/greentoclear. A documentary-style short film narrated by female rap icon MC Lyte draws a clear connection between musical sound sampling and the closed-loop recycling process.
Just as samples can be turned into new music over and over again, clear PET bottles can be “remixed” and remade into new bottles. Sprite, Fresca and Seagram’s recently switched out their signature green bottles for clear PET to increase the material’s likelihood of being remade into new bottles. While green PET is recyclable, it’s usually converted into single-use items like clothing and carpeting that cannot be recycled again. During the sorting process, green and other colored PET is separated from clear material to avoid discoloring recycled food-grade packaging required to make new PET bottles.
The transition supports The Coca‑Cola Company’s World Without Waste sustainable packaging vision, which includes goals to make 100% of packaging recyclable globally by 2025; reduce virgin PET use by 3 million metric tons by 2025; and to make bottles and cans with an average of 50% recycled content by 2030.
“We are demonstrating our commitment to driving circularity through our packaging by ensuring every bottle we make can be recycled and made into a new one—and hopefully inspiring others to follow our lead,” said Kurt Ritter, VP and General Manager, Sustainability, Coca‑Cola North America. “We can only achieve our World Without Waste goals by creating a closed-loop packaging stream, and that starts with clear PET.”
Sprite communicated the packaging change—and the fact that the classic lemon-lime sparkling beverage isn’t changing—this summer through the “Same Sprite, New Bottle” campaign featuring NBA stars Anthony Edwards and Trae Young.
According to Sprite North America Brand Director Terika Fasakin, “Recycled Records” spotlights the environmental benefits of the switch through Sprite’s historic ties to hip-hop. “Sprite fans are passionate about both sustainability and music,” she says. “We saw this as a great opportunity to explain why we switched to clear PET bottles in a digestible and easy-to-understand way.”
Partnering with such universally recognized artists as Ronson and Madlib will broaden the reach and resonance of the campaign’s message, says Laura Gorham, senior brand manager, Fresca and Seagram’s.
“These sparkling brands appeal to a wide range of consumers, so it’s fantastic to partner with artists whose music connects with so many to tell this story,” she adds. “‘Recycled Records’ is a creative concept that not only explains this packaging change, but also makes sustainability more relevant."