August 30 2023  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Bacardi, EcoSpirits and Carnival Cruise Line partner to reduce single-use glass at sea

By Laura Shirk

The partnership introduces eco-friendly closed loop packaging to the cruise industry

Family-owned spirits company Bacardi is launching a new initiative to introduce closed-loop packaging to the cruise industry this month, through a collaboration with Carnival Cruise Line ships and innovative circular economy technology company, EcoSpirits.

The three-month long pilot will determine if re-usable containers – the EcoTote 3.0SC Cruise Edition, specifically developed by EcoSpirits for the maritime environment – can be used to serve Bacardi rum on Carnival ships, in turn reducing single-use packaging by 95%. The concept will be tested on three ships operating from Miami: Carnival Celebration, Carnival Horizon and Carnival Sunrise.

Each EcoTote replaces approximately four bottles of Bacardi Superior rum, and each one is used, cleaned and refilled approximately 100 times, thereby creating a closed loop system. Within this pilot phase, approximately 9,400 bottles will be replaced thanks to the EcoSpirits system, thereby significantly reducing waste.

“We are continuously looking for opportunities to deliver our beautiful drinks in more sustainable packaging and formats, helping us build a greener future,” said Rodolfo Nervi, VP Global Safety, Quality & Sustainability for Bacardi. “Innovating in closed loop packaging has been a top priority for us for a number of years, so launching our very first EcoTote for Bacardi on a Carnival cruise ship and seeing the doors this trial will open, is an incredibly exciting step forwards in that journey.”

The award-winning rum was selected for the pilot because it is among the most-ordered spirits across the fleet and a staple of some of the craft cocktails most popular with Carnival guests. The rum will be transferred from EcoTote to serving format using EcoSpirits' SmartPour technology. New silver and red Bacardi-branded SmartPours will be placed in select bars on the three ships for beverage team members to serve cocktails made with Bacardi Superior rum.

“We are extremely proud to be working with both Bacardi and Carnival on this industry first for the cruise sector. Working with forward-thinking partners like this strengthens our collective focus on sustainable practices and our shared goal to eventually eliminate packaging waste across the industry,” said Zdenek Kastanek, Managing Director, EcoSpirits USA. “We could not be more delighted to be welcoming Bacardi to our portfolio of Climate Partners and, by launching in EcoTote format for the first-time on board Carnival’s ships, it will send a clear message that circular packaging is the most sustainable solution for the cruise industry.”

The new collaboration will also support the EcoSpirits Oceans Program. For each cycle of an EcoTote delivered as part of the pilot, a donation will fund the removal of more than two pounds of single-use plastic, glass and other man-made wastes removed from endangered marine environments.

Currently, Carnival recycles single-use glass items. Each ship in the fleet is outfitted with a recycling center, where crew members sort paper, plastic and glass recyclables. Last year, Carnival processed more than 11 million pounds of recyclables.

“As we continue to work towards our sustainability goals, the collaborative work of our beverage team, EcoSpirits and Bacardi is a great example of thinking in ways that are truly out-of-the-box, or in this case – out-of-the-bottle, to develop new partnerships and practices that further our ongoing efforts,” said Zachary Sulkes, Senior Director of Beverage Operations at Carnival Cruise Line.

This latest announcement from Bacardi comes as the company continues to seek out all opportunities to reduce packaging waste across its portfolio which includes Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Patron tequila, Martini vermouth and Dewar's blended scotch whisky. The company is on track to achieve its target of removing all plastic from its secondary packaging and point of sale materials by the end of 2023, and last year made the pioneering move to remove the plastic pourer from its bottles in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Spain and Portugal.

REGION International

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