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Bacardi First in Fight Against Plastic Pollution With 100% Biodegradable Spirits Bottle

October 21, 2020
  • World’s most eco-friendly spirits bottle will biodegrade in 18 months
  • Bacardi swaps crude oil for seed oil as petroleum-based plastics are replaced by plant-based ‘wonder material’ – a silver bullet in fight against plastic pollution
  • Bacardi to eliminate at least 3,000 tons of plastic currently produced annually and help move needle for entire industry by sharing new technology with competitors

Hamilton, Bermuda, October 21, 2020 – Bacardi, the world’s largest family-owned spirits company, has made a giant leap forward in the fight against climate change and plastic pollution today, as it unveils plans to put the world’s most sustainable spirits bottle on shelf by 2023.

The new 100% biodegradable bottle will replace 80 Million plastic bottles – 3,000 tons of plastic – currently produced by Bacardi across its portfolio of brands every year.

This revolutionary move by Bacardi is possible thanks to its close collaboration with Danimer Scientific, a leading developer and manufacturer of biodegradable products. Petroleum-based plastics used by Bacardi today will be replaced by Danimer Scientific’s Nodax™ PHA, a biopolymer which derives from the natural oils of plant seeds such as palm, canola and soy. While a regular plastic bottle takes over 400 years to decompose, the new spirits bottle made from Nodax™ PHA 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.

BACARDÍ® 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 the entire Bacardi 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.

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. We’re now excited to be pioneering this new biopolymer technology for the benefit of all Bacardi brands and the entire spirits industry.”

Ned Duggan, Senior Vice President, BACARDÍ rum

As well as the new 100% biopolymer spirits bottle, Bacardi is also creating a sustainably sourced paper bottle. By integrating the Nodax™ PHA polymer, this alternative solution will have equally strong environmental credentials while ensuring the quality and taste of the spirit inside a bottle made of paper is as exceptional as one made of glass.

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.”

Jean-Marc Lambert, Senior Vice President, Global Operations for Bacardi

Thanks to the versatility of this innovative new material, the Bacardi Packaging Development team will also 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. 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.”

Jean-Marc Lambert, Senior Vice President, Global Operations for Bacardi

Today’s announcement by Bacardi represents a major step towards the company achieving its goal of being 100% plastic-free in the next 10 years. As well as launching the new biopolymer bottle in 2023, the company has also committed to removing all its non-essential, single-use plastic, including all plastic gift box materials and plastic point-of-sale materials, in the next three years.

Nodax™ PHA was verified as a truly biodegradable alternative to petrochemical plastics by the University of Georgia (UGA) and the UGA New Materials Institute in a 2018 study. Danimer Scientific currently uses the material for a wide range of applications, including thermoformed trays, drinking straws, flexible and multi-layer film packaging, coatings, disposable cutlery, and more.

Nodax™ PHA is one of the most promising eco-friendly materials in the world today because it delivers the biodegradability that consumers demand without losing the quality feel they receive from traditional plastic. The material provides the best of both worlds, and we look forward to working with Bacardi and incorporating PHA into their iconic packaging.”

Scott Tuten, Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at Danimer Scientific

In 2016, Bacardi led the drinks industry by committing to eliminate all single-use plastic straws in its cocktails. And two years ago, it began a collaboration with the Lonely Whale Foundation to remove single-use plastic straws from bars and restaurants. Danimer Scientific’s use of Nodax™ PHA to create the world’s first completely biodegradable plastic drinking straw in 2018 has complemented these initiatives to help reduce the global impact of plastic waste.

Find out more about Bacardi’s sustainability commitments and its vision to become the most environmentally responsible global spirits company at https://www.bacardilimited.com/corporate-responsibility/.

Always drink responsibly

About Bacardi
Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets internationally recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, PATRÓN® tequila, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, MARTINI® vermouth and sparkling wines, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, and other leading and emerging brands including WILLIAM LAWSON’S® Scotch whisky, ST-GERMAIN® elderflower liqueur, and ERISTOFF® vodka. Founded more than 158 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, family-owned Bacardi Limited currently employs more than 7,000, operates production facilities in 11 countries, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. Visit www.bacardilimited.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram .

About Danimer Scientific
Danimer Scientific is a pioneer in creating more sustainable, more natural ways to make plastic products. Danimer Scientific’s Nodax™ PHA possesses seven TUV AUSTRIA certifications and statements of industrial and home compostability, is biodegradable in anaerobic, soil, fresh water and marine environments and is 100% bio-based. All of Danimer Scientific’s biopolymers, including its Nodax™ PHA, are FDA approved for food contact. For more information, visit www.DanimerScientific.com