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Bacardi debuts biodegradable bottle

Published:  21 October, 2020

Bacardi has unveiled plans to develop the “world’s most eco-friendly spirits bottle” which will biodegrade in 18 months. 

Made from plant-based materials, which swap crude oil for seed oil, Bacardi says the bottle will replace 84 million plastic bottles currently produced by the company every year. It will be used mainly in travel retail where glass can’t be used on planes. Glass is also heavy, thus contributing to emissions. 

The new bottle, which is set to account for an estimated 10% of the company’s total annual output, is due to be rolled out by 2023, and brings the producer one step closer to becoming 100% plastic-free by 2030.

Bacardi rum will be the first spirit to use the new bottle, with all of the company’s 200 brands and labels including Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose and Patron then following suit.

“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,” Ned Duggan, senior vice president, Bacardi rum, said.

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

The new packaging launch is a major step towards sustainability for Bacardi, which has said it aims to remove the equivalent of 3,000 tons of plastic from the supply chain every year with the new launch.

The bottles will be made of 100% biopolymer called Nodax PHA – “a silver bullet in fight against plastic pollution”.

While a regular plastic bottle takes over 400 years to decompose, Nodax PHA will “biodegrade in 18 months without leaving behind harmful microplastics”, Bacardi said.

Nodax PHA replaces reliance on petroleum based materials like crude oil, swapping it instead for natural oils of plant seeds such as palm, canola and soy.

Bacardi has worked with Danimer Scientific, a leading developer and manufacturer of biodegradable products on the new launch.