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Bat Clan - This is the Last Straw

08 April 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Starting in its North America regional headquarters office in Coral Gables, Fla., and its Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England, (and presumably its new London HQ - see Property Section), Bacardi is promoting the removing of straws and stirrers in cocktails at company events companywide as part of its ongoing 'Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future' environmental campaign.

The firm says it is copying many other eco-conscious hotels, restaurants and bars as straws and stirrers are among the most collected pieces of trash in our oceans.

“Plastic straws don’t biodegrade and their use is ubiquitous across many industries including the spirits market. We are resolved to be part of the solution and this includes reducing the amount of waste we produce,” says Ian McLaren, Director of Trade Advocacy for Bacardi, who is encouraging all offices within the Bacardi global infrastructure to do the same.


Last straw

According to The Last Plastic Straw, if you lined up the 500-million straws used and discarded each day in the U.S. alone, you would be able to wrap around the globe two-and-a-half times. It is also the equivalent to filling 125 school buses (the American kind) to the brim, each day, with just straws. That equates to 46,400 school buses every year, says the U.S. National Park Service. The reality, however, is that more than 175 billion straws are filtered into landfills and litter the oceans, yearly. With straws ranked No. 5 on the list of the top-10 items collected in the ocean.

At a recent happy hour in Coral Gables, Bacardi employees used metal stirrers and drank from straw-less glasses in support of the movement that is expected to save 12,000 straws and stirrers from landfills – from in-house happy hours – annually. With more than 80,000 consumers estimated to visit its gin distillery in England in 2016, this small change of will make an impact as more than 14,000 cocktails are crafted monthly.


Islands in the sun

Research indicates that the ocean is filled with about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris, and about 269,000 tons float on the surface, polluting shorelines. At the same time, about four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. In the middle of the Pacific, in the deepest parts, there is a garbage patch roughly the size of Texas. Even more astonishing is that the amount of trash produced each year is expected to rise for the rest of the century unless interventions are implemented.


Something to read over a drink...or two

Since 2006, when Bacardi began tracking its global impact on the environment, it has improved water use efficiency by 46% and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity ratio by nearly 45%. Building on current programmes and efficiencies that reduce its environmental impacts, the Bacardi Limited Good Spirited sustainability programme sets specific goals in three areas to help the company reach its goal of a net zero impact:

  • Responsible Sourcing: Bacardi strives to obtain all raw materials and packaging from sustainably sourced, renewable or recycled materials while maintaining or enhancing the economic status of growers and suppliers. By 2017, the goal is to obtain 40% of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rum from certified, sustainable sources – and 100% by 2022. This pledge from Bacardi is an industry first.

  • Global Packaging: Bacardi commits to use eco-design to craft sustainability into its brand packaging and point-of-sale materials. By 2017, Bacardi plans to reduce the weight of its packaging by 10% and achieve 15% by 2022.

  • Operational Efficiencies: Bacardi continues to focus on reducing water use and GHG emissions with a 2017 goal to cut water use by 55% and GHG emissions by 50%. Also, Bacardi aims to eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.

Picture: The Good Spirited Campaign


Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 08 April 2016


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