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Danimer Scientific's PHA Chosen by Bacardi to Replace PET

Bacardi opts to transition to 100% biodegradable PHA by 2023.

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Bioplastic Nodax PHA fromDanimer Scientific, Bainbridge, Ga.,  has been chosen by Bacardi, Hamilton, Bermuda to replace 80 million PET bottles (3000 tons) currently produced by the company, said to be the world’s largest family-owned spirits company, across its portfolio of brands every year.

Bacardi’s plans to put the “world’s most sustainable spirits bottle” on shelf by 2023, is being realized through its close collaboration with Danimer, a leading developer and manufacturer of biodegradable biopolymers derived from the natural oils of plant seeds such as palm, canola and soy,

The new spirits bottle made from Nodax PHA will biodegrade in a wide range of environments, including compost, soil, freshwater and sea water, and after 18 months disappear without leaving behind harmful microplastics. As previously reported, Nodax PHA was verified as a truly biodegradable alternative to petrochemical plastics by the University of Georgia (UGA) and the UGA New Materials Institute in a 2018 study. Danimer Scientific currently uses the material for a wide range of applications, including thermoformed trays, drinking straws, flexible and multi-layer film packaging, coatings, and disposable cutlery.

Bacardi to offer world's first 100% biodegradable spirits bottle made with Nodax PHA

Bacardi rum will be the first spirit to appear in the new bottle, before the plant-based material is rolled out to replace single-use plastic across the entire Bacardi supply chain and the company’s 200 brands and labels including Bombay Saphire gin, Grey Goose vodka, Patron tequila, Martini vermouth and Dewar’s Scotch whisky.

The versatility of this innovative material, is expected to help the Bacardi Packaging Development team crack one of the beverage industry’s longest-standing plastic problems – the plastic lining of bottle closures. Said senior v.p. of operations for Bacardi Jean-Mark Lambert, “That may sound small, but add that up across every bottle produced globally and we’re talking many tons 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.”

In addition to the 100% biodegradable bioplastic spirits bottle, Bacardi is also creating a sustainably sourced paper bottle. By integrating the Nodax PHA polymer, this alternative solution is expected to have equally strong environmental credentials while ensuring the quality and taste of the spirit inside a bottle made of paper is as exceptional as one made of glass.

Today’s announcement by Bacardi represents a major step towards the company achieving its goal of being 100% plastic-free in the next 10 years. The company has also committed to removing all its non-essential, single-use plastic, including all plastic gift box materials and plastic point-of-sale materials, in the next three years.

In 2016, Bacardi led the drinks industry by committing to eliminate all single-use plastic straws in its cocktails. And two years ago, it began a collaboration with the Lonely Whale Foundation to remove single-use plastic straws from bars and restaurants. Danimer Scientific’s use of Nodax PHA to create the world’s first completely biodegradable plastic drinking straw in 2018 has complemented these initiatives to help reduce the global impact of plastic waste.

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