Bacardi has unveiled plans to put the world’s most sustainable spirits bottle on shelf by 2023.
The new 100% biodegradable bottle will replace 80 million plastic bottles – 3000 tons of plastic – currently produced by Bacardi across its portfolio of brands every year.
Bacardi has collaborated with Danimer Scientific, a leading developer and manufacturer of biodegradable products, on the project. Petroleum-based plastics used by Bacardi will be replaced by a biopolymer that derives from the natural oils of plant seeds.
While a regular plastic bottle takes more than 400 years to decompose, the new spirits bottle will biodegrade in a wide range of environments, including compost, soil, freshwater and sea water, and after 18 months disappear without leaving behind harmful microplastics.
Bacardi rum will be the first spirit to appear in the new bottle, before the plant-based material is rolled out to replace single-use plastic across the entire Bacardi supply chain and the company’s 200 brands and labels including Bombay Sapphire gin, Grey Goose vodka, Patron tequila, Martini vermouth and Dewar’s Scotch whisky.
Ned Duggan, Bacardi Rum Senior Vice President, said: “As well as the new 100% biopolymer spirits bottle, Bacardi is also creating a sustainably sourced paper bottle. This alternative solution will have equally strong environmental credentials while ensuring the quality and taste of the spirit inside a bottle made of paper is as exceptional as one made of glass.
“When we set ourselves the goal of being 100% plastic free by 2030, we knew that it would take ground-breaking advances in packaging design to make it achievable, and that’s exactly what’s happening through our partnership with Danimer.”
Jean-Marc Lambert, Senior Vice President, Global Operations for Bacardi, added: “Thanks to the versatility of this innovative new material, the Bacardi Packaging Development team will also crack one of the beverage industry’s longest-standing plastic problems – the plastic lining of bottle closures.
“It may sound small, but add that up across every bottle produced globally and we’re talking many tons of plastic every day. Once we’ve fixed the problem, we’ll be open sourcing the solution for the entire industry to use. This isn’t about competitive advantage it’s about doing the right thing for the planet.”
Bacardi aims to be 100% plastic-free in the next 10 years. As well as launching the new biopolymer bottle in 2023, the company has also committed to removing all its non-essential, single-use plastic, including all plastic gift box materials and plastic point-of-sale materials, in the next three years.
Diageo to launch paper spirits bottle in 2021
Earlier this year, Diageo announced it would release Johnnie Walker in a paper bottle in early 2021. The 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle will be made entirely from sustainably sourced wood.
It comes as part of Diageo’s new partnership with Pilot Lite, a venture management company, to launch Pulpex Limited, a new world-leading sustainable packaging technology company.
Ewan Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer, Diageo said: “We’re proud to have created this world first. We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking. It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence.”