Bacardi unveils world's first biodegradable spirts bottle

Bacardi has unveiled plans to put the world’s first 100% degradable spirits bottles on shelves and back bars by 2023.

The family-owned firm said it will save 3,000 tons of plastic each year by replacing 80 million plastic bottles with the new biodegradable, plant-based material.

Bacardi rum will be the first spirit to appear in the new bottle, before it is rolled out across the full Bacardi portfolio, which includes Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose, Patrón, Martini and Dewar’s.

The tam worked with Danimer Scientific, a leading developer and manufacturer of biodegradable products, on the bottle.

It will replace its petroleum-based plastics with 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.

After 18 months, it will disappear without leaving behind harmful microplastics.

Ned Duggan, senior vice president for 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.”

Bacardi is also creating a sustainably sourced paper bottle that integrates Nodax PHA polymer.

The firm is on a mission to become 100% plastic free by 2030. It will work with Danimer Scientific to crack one of the beverage industry’s longest-standing sustainability issues – the plastic lining of bottle closures.

“It may sound small,” said Jean-Marc, senior vice president for global operations, “but add that up across every bottle produced globally and we’re talking many tonnes 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.”