Bacardi unveils plans to launch 100% biodegradable bottle

Bacardi has unveiled plans to put “the world’s most sustainable spirits bottle” on shelf by 2023.

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

To make this move Bacardi collaborated with Danimer Scientific, a 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 reportedly biodegrade in a wide range of environments, including compost, soil, freshwater and sea water, and after 18 months disappear without leaving behind harmful microplastics.

Bacardi 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, Patron Tequila, Martini Vermouth and Dewar’s Scotch Whisky.

Ned Duggan, Senior Vice President, Bacardi rum, said: “Over our 158-year history, Bacardi 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.”

As well as the new 100% biopolymer spirits bottle, Bacardi is also creating a sustainably-sourced paper bottle. By integrating the Nodax PHA polymer, Bacardi said 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.

Jean-Marc Lambert, Senior Vice President, Global Operations for Bacardi, said: “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 said this announcement represents a major step towards 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.

Scott Tuten, Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at Danimer Scientific, said: “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.”

In July Diageo claimed to have made the world's first plastic=free, paper-based spirits bottle. The bottle will be used commercially for the producer's Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky brand in early 2021. 

Related articles: