Bacardi Asks Consumers To Hold the Straws

Why would a liquor company have a no straw initiative? The answer is simple. Bacardi Limited knows that those little plastic tubes are bad for the environment. In the U.S. alone, 500 million straws are used daily. That’s enough to fill over 127 school buses every day, or over 46,400 school buses a year. Most straws are made from plastic, which is not biodegradable. 

Back in March, Bacardi launched an initiative to stop the use of straws and plastic stirrers in cocktails at company events. The company famous for its rum, began the initiative at its regional headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida and its Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire, England. Bacari is promoting the no straw initiative company-wide as part of its Good Spirited environmental campaign. 
Straws and stirrers are some of the most collected pieces of trash in our oceans. Straws are ranked number five on the list of the 10 most collected items in the ocean. Every year, over 175 billion straws end up in oceans and landfills. Bacardi’s no straw initiative has saved nearly one million plastic straws from polluting oceans. 

The ocean is filled with about 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris. About 269,000 tons float on the surface and pollute shorelines. Not all plastic debris is visible to the naked eye. There are about four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer in the deep sea. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean there is a big garbage patch about the size of Texas called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It stretches from the west coast of North America to Japan. Most of the debris in the Patch is not biodegradable. Most of it is made up of microplastics, which are tiny pieces of plastic. A good deal of marine debris (70 percent) sinks to the bottom of the ocean. 

Most of the debris in the Patch (80 percent) comes from North America and Asia. Trash from Asian countries takes around a year to reach the Patch, while trash from North America takes around six years to reach it. In just one square kilometer of the Patch, scientists have collected up to 750,000 pieces of microplastic. Microplastic is very detrimental to marine life. Some mistake it for food, which causes health problems and can even lead to death.

Bacardi believes in practicing environmental sustainability

Bacardi’s no straw initiative is just one of its many environmental initiatives. In 2006, the company began to tracks its global environmental impact. Since then, it has improved water efficiency by 46 percent and reduced its greenhouse gas intensity ratio by almost 45 percent. Bacardis has set lofty goals for 2017, including:

  • Obtaining 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make rum from certified, sustainable sources. The goal for 2022 is 100 percent.
  • Reduce the weight of packaging by 10 percent and 15 percent by 2022.
  • Reduce water use by 55 percent and GHG emissions by 50 percent, and eliminate landfill waste at all of its production sites by 2022.

To achieve its waste reduction goals, Bacardi will need to recycle. At its Jacksonville, Florida bottling plant, it recycles everything that it can. The plant, the only one for Bacardi rum branded products sold in the United States, recycles glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, and wastewater. 

Photo: Bacardi