Bermuda-based spirits company Bacardi has launched a new initiative to bring closed-loop packaging to the cruise industry through a partnership with Carnival Cruise Line and ecoSPIRITS.
The three-month long pilot will explore whether reusable containers (ecoSPIRIT’s ecoTOTE, in this case) are suitable for serving Bacardí Superior rum on board.
Each ecoTOTE replaces around four bottles of Bacardí, and can be cleaned and refilled 100 times. If successful, single-use glass packaging for the rum will be cut by 95%.
Bacardi is testing the concept during a three-month pilot. The initiative is onboard three vessels sailing from Miami: Carnival Celebration, Carnival Horizon and Carnival Sunrise.
In total, the pilot replaces 9,400 bottles.
Bacardí was chosen for the pilot because it is the most-ordered spirit across the fleet, and features in a number of cocktails available on board.
The rum is transferred from ecoTOTE to serving format using ecoSPIRITS’ SmartPour technology.
Bacardi, ecoSPIRITS and Carnival Cruise Lines: Thinking ‘outside of the bottle’
New silver and red Bacardí-branded SmartPours will be placed in select bars on the three ships for bartenders to serve cocktails made with the rum.
Bacardi, ecoSPIRITS and Carnival Cruise Lines: tacking single-use materials
The collaboration also supports the ecoSPIRITS Oceans Programme. For each cycle an ecoTOTE that’s part of the pilot, a donation will remove 2 pounds (just under 1kg) of single-use plastic, glass and other man-made waste from marine environments.
At present, Carnival recycles single-use glass items. Each ship within the fleet has its own recycling centre. Last year, the operator processed more than 11 million pounds (just under 5m kg) of recyclables.
“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 Bacardí on a Carnival cruise ship and seeing the doors this trial will open, is an incredibly exciting step forwards in that journey.”
Thinking ‘outside of the bottle’
Zdenek Kastanek, Managing Director, ecoSPIRITS USA, added: “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.
“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 onboard Carnival’s ships.
“It will send a clear message that circular packaging is the most sustainable solution for the cruise industry.”
Zachary Sulkes, senior director of beverage operations at Carnival Cruise Line, commented: “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.”
The development comes as Bacardi works towards its target of removing all plastic from its secondary packaging and point-of-sale materials by the end of 2023.