Bacardi to make 100% biodegradable spirits bottle

Kalila Sangster
·2 min read
Bacardi biodegradable bottle
The new biodegradable bottle will be created from a biopolymer made from the natural oils of plant seeds such as palm, canola and soy. Photo: Bacardí

Bacardí has announced plans to make a new 100% biodegradable spirits bottle in the company’s latest move “in the fight against climate change and plastic pollution.”

The new bottle will replace 80 million plastic bottles — equating to 3,000 tons of plastic — that Bacardí currently produces across its portfolio of brands every year.

Bacardí is working with Danimer Scientific, a developer and manufacturer of biodegradable products, to create the bottle out of a biopolymer made from the natural oils of plant seeds such as palm, canola and soy.

The new material 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,” according to the spirit maker.

The move is part of Bacardí’s pledge to become 100% plastic-free by 2030. The pledge also includes plans to remove all non-essential plastic in the next three years including plastic gift boxes and point-of-sale materials such as plastic cups and straws.

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Bacardí plans to use the new biodegradable material to “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,” said Jean-Marc Lambert, senior vice president, Global Operations for Bacardí.

“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.”

The spirit maker is also working on creating a sustainably sourced paper bottle as another alternative solution to plastic.

Bacardí rum will be the first spirit to appear in the new biodegradable bottle, according to the company. The plant-based material will then be rolled out to replace single-use plastic across its full supply chain and the company’s 200 brands and labels including Bombay Sapphire gin, Grey Goose vodka, Patrón tequila, Martini vermouth, and Dewar’s Scotch whisky.

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