Drinks producer Bacardi has created a biodegradable bottle that will be rolled out across the company’s portfolio by 2023.
Bacardi has partnered with biodegradable products manufacturer Danimer Scientific to create a bottle made using natural oils derived from seeds including palm, canola and soy.
The resulting plant polymer-based bottle will biodegrade after 18 months without leaving behind microplastics. A traditional plastic bottle can take up to 400 years to decompose. The move will replace 80 million plastic bottles used by the firm every year.
Ned Duggan, senior vice president of Bacardi rum, said: “Over our 158-year history, Bacardi has always believed in respecting the world’s natural resources and acting responsibly, from the sustainable sourcing of our sugarcane to the water and energy used to make our rum. We’re now excited to be pioneering this new biopolymer technology for the benefit of all Bacardi brands and the entire spirits industry.”
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 brands including Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose vodka, Patrón Tequila and Dewar’s Scotch whisky.
The Bacardi packaging development team will also use the new bio-plastic to replace the plastic lining of bottle closures.
“It may sound small,” said Jean-Marc Lambert, senior vice president of global operations for Bacardi. “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.”
As well as the new 100% biopolymer spirits bottle, Bacardi is also creating a sustainably sourced paper bottle. Made using the same plant polymer base, the paper bottle will have equally strong environmental credentials.
Lambert added: “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.”
Earlier this year, Diageo partnered with venture management company Pilot Lite to launch a plastic-free, paper-based bottle for Johnnie Walker.
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Author: Owen Bellwood