The world’s largest family-owned spirits company, Bacardi has stepped forward in the battle against climate alteration and plastic pollution, as it discloses its plans to bring world’s most sustainable spirits bottle on shelf by 2023.
The new 100% biodegradable bottle will substitute 80 million plastic bottles– 3,000 tonnes of plastic – presently manufactured by the company across its portfolio of brands annually.
This revolutionary measure by the company has become possible due to its close partnership with Danimer Scientific, a leading developer and producer of biodegradable products. Danimer Scientific’sNodax PHA, a biopolymer derived from the natural oils of seeds such as palm, canola and soy will replace the Petroleum-based plastics which are being used currently by the company. Compared to a regular plastic bottle which takes more than 400 years to decompose, the new spirits bottles made from Nodax PHA will biodegrade in about 18 months only and will vanish without leaving behind harmful microplastics.
Ned Duggan, senior VP of Bacardi rum stated- ‘Over our 158-year history, Bacardi has always believed in respecting the world’s natural resources and acting accountably, from the sustainable gathering of our sugarcane to the water and energy utilized to make our rum. We’re now thrilled to be pioneering this new biopolymer technology for the betterment of all Bacardi brands and the entire spirits industry.’
In addition, the company is also designing a sustainably gathered paper bottle. By linking the Nodax PHA polymer, this alternative product will have equally robust environmental credentials while making sure that the quality and taste of the spirit inside the paper bottle is as extraordinary as in one made of glass.
Jean-Marc Lambert, senior VP of global operations at Bacardi declared- ‘When we set ourselves the target of being 100% plastic-free by 2030, we knew that it would take innovative approaches in packaging design to make it accomplishable, and that exact thing is happening via our collaboration with Danimer.’
Thanks to the flexibility of this creative new material, the Bacardi Packaging Development team will also solve one of the beverage industry’s longest-standing plastic problems i.e. the plastic lining of bottle closures. ‘It may sound small,’ states Jean-Marc, ‘but sum that up across every bottle produced worldwide and we’re talking several tonne of plastic every day. Once we’ve cracked the problem, we’ll be open sourcing the solution for the entire industry to use. This isn’t about competitive benefit, it’s about doing the right thing for the earth.’
In 2018, Nodax PHA was validated as a actually biodegradable substitute to petrochemical plastics by the University of Georgia (UGA) and the UGA New Materials Institute. Danimer Scientific presently utilizes the material for a wide array of applications such as thermoformed trays, drinking straws, flexible and multi-layer film packaging, coatings, disposable cutlery, etc.
Scott Tuten, chief marketing & sustainability officer at Danimer Scientific informed- “Nodax PHA is one of the most hopeful eco-friendly materials in the world today because it provides the biodegradability that consumers want without losing the quality they receive from traditional plastic. The material delivers the best of both worlds, and we look forward to work with Bacardi and incorporate PHA into their exemplary packaging.”