As part of its ongoing “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” environmental campaign, Bacardi’s global office has launched the in-house no straw movement to remove straws and stirrers in cocktails at company events.
Starting in its North America regional headquarters and its Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstoke Mill, Bacardi has teamed up with other eco-conscious hotels, restaurants and bars in this new initiative.
According to a statement, the company says: “as straws and stirrers are among the most collected pieces of trash in our oceans, coupled with the 10 litres of water used to produce one bottle of a premium spirit, the Company knows water is a critical resource for all its brands and local communities”.
Ian McLaren, Director of Trade Advocacy for Bacardi, who is encouraging all offices within the Bacardi global infrastructure to adopt the same strategy.
“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,” he says.
According to environmental organisation The Last Plastic Straw, if one was to line up the 500-million straws used and discarded each day in the U.S. alone, the giant straw created would be able to wrap around the equator two-and-a-half times. In fact, it would be the same as jamming 125 bright yellow US school buses full of straws everyday – that’s 46,400 school bus straw monsters a year.
So with that in mind, Bacardi says it is urging everyone to add, “No straw, please,” to their drink order.
By using metal stirrers and foregoing straws, Bacardi says that it expects to save 12,000 straws and stirrers from landfills anully just from its in-house happy hours alone.
And with more than 80,000 consumers estimated to visit Laverstoke in 2016, no straws will make a difference as 14,000 cocktails are poured there monthly.
“For many, awareness begins with alarming facts or watching a viral video of a sea turtle with a straw lodged in its nose,” adds McLaren. “We are making changes now to carry us all through to the future, sustainably.”
For some horrifying stats, try these:
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.
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.
The no straw movement is the latest environmental program implemented by Bacardi since 2006. In that time it has improved water use efficiency by 46% and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity ratio by nearly 45%.
Additionally, the company has a goal to obtain 40% of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rum from certified, sustainable sources by 2017, and 100% by 2022.