Bacardi has unveiled plans to launch a new biopolymer spirits bottle in 2023, which it says will biodegrade in 18 months without leaving behind harmful microplastics.
Bacardi currently produces around 80 million plastic bottles, amounting to 3,000 tons of plastic, across its portfolio of brands every year.
The new 100% biodegradable bottle will be rolled out to replace single-use plastic across the company’s entire supply chain and its 200 brands and labels, starting with Bacardí rum.
“Over our 158-year history, Bacardí 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,” said Ned Duggan, senior vice president, Bacardí rum.
“We’re now excited to be pioneering this new biopolymer technology for the benefit of all Bacardi brands and the entire spirits industry.”
Danimer Scientific has developed the biopolymer, Nodax PHA, that will replace the petroleum-based plastics currently used by Bacardi.
Derived from the oils of plant seeds such as palm, canola and soy, the material will reportedly biodegrade in a wide range of environments.
Jean-Marc Lambert, senior vice president, global operations for Bacardi, 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.”
Bacardi also hopes to use the plant-based material to tackle another one of the beverage industry’s plastic challenges: the plastic lining of bottle closures.
Lambert continued: “It may sound small, but add that up across every bottle produced globally and we’re talking many tons of plastic everyday. 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.”
In addition, Bacardi says that it is also creating a sustainably sourced paper bottle that integrates the Nodax PHA polymer to help ensure the quality and taste of the spirit.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020