Diageo has announced a global agreement with circular economy technology company EcoSpirits, establishing a flexible framework for piloting and scaling circular packaging in an expected 18 markets over the next three years.
The deal follows Diageo’s ongoing EcoSpirits programme with Smirnoff in Indonesia. Initiated in 2022, the programme is currently active in 38 bars.
The collaboration will initially focus on Diageo’s Gordon’s gin, Captain Morgan rum and Smirnoff vodka brands. The brands will use EcoSpirits technology, allowing distribution in a 4.5-litre EcoTote, which is said to function like a keg. This system provides a closed-loop circular economy: the emptied EcoTote will be collected, undergo cleaning at offsite facilities and then be refilled with the same spirit for subsequent distribution and use.
The partnership aims to provide Diageo with sustainability benefits by reducing carbon emissions and waste. The specific figures will be confirmed at the end of the three-year period.
The EcoTote is designed for up to 150 uses, aiming to replace the consumption of up to 1,000 glass bottles throughout their lifespan. Additionally, a potential carbon footprint benefit is expected after the sixth use, compared to the equivalent volume of liquid in 70cl glass bottles.
Ewan Andrew, president of global supply chain & procurement and chief sustainability officer at Diageo, commented: “This is another example of a triple win where the planet, consumers, and Diageo will all benefit. We will be able to reduce both carbon and cost, and the pubs and bars will benefit from the ease of having reusable spirits packaging.”
The initial markets in the global agreement are expected to launch in 2024, marking a progression toward Diageo’s goal of achieving a 50% reduction in carbon emissions across the supply chain by 2030 and ultimately reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Paul Gabie, CEO of EcoSpirits, added: “EcoSpirits ’ mission is to end single-use glass in the spirits and wine industry. For the circular economy to achieve global scale, innovators like EcoSpirits need the support of industry leaders like Diageo in catalysing the linear to circular packaging transition. As such, this new global partnership is a significant milestone for EcoSpirits and our journey to a circular future. We are grateful to our partners at Diageo for the seriousness of their commitment to a more sustainable and inclusive world.”
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