A new pilot program is introducing closed-loop packaging to the cruise industry aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships through a collaboration that includes leading family-owned spirits company Bacardi and innovative circular economy technology company ecoSPIRITS.
The pilot will determine if re-usable containers developed by ecoSPIRITS can be used to serve BACARDĺ® rum on Carnival ships, in turn reducing single-use packaging by 95 percent. The concept is being tested for three months on three ships operating from Miami: Carnival Celebration, Carnival Horizon and Carnival Sunrise.
“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,” said Zachary Sulkes, senior director of beverage operations at Carnival Cruise Line.
To support the new collaboration with Bacardi and Carnival, ecoSPIRITS created a specialized version of its patent-pending closed loop glass packaging format, the ecoTOTE™ 3.0SC Cruise Edition, specifically for the maritime environment. Each ecoTOTE replaces approximately four bottles of BACARDĺ Superior rum and each one is used, cleaned and refilled approximately 100 times, thereby creating a closed loop system.
The award-winning rum was selected for the pilot because it is among the most-ordered spirits across the fleet and a staple of some of the craft cocktails most popular with Carnival guests. The rum will be transferred from ecoTOTE to serving format using ecoSPIRITS’ SmartPour™ technology. New silver and red BACARDĺ-branded SmartPours will be placed in select bars on the three ships for beverage team members to serve cocktails featuring BACARDĺ Superior rum.
“As we strive to become the most environmentally responsible global spirits company, we are continuously looking for opportunities to deliver our beautiful drinks in more sustainable packaging and formats, helping us build to a greener future,” said Rodolfo Nervi, Vice President, 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 BACARDĺ rum on a Carnival cruise ship and seeing the doors this trial will open, is an incredibly exciting step forwards in that journey.”
An innovator in circular economy technology, ecoSPIRITS first developed its patent-pending closed loop system – the world’s first low carbon, low waste distribution technology for premium spirits and wine – in 2018.
“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,” said Zdenek Kastanek, Managing Director, ecoSPIRITS USA. “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.”
The new collaboration will also support the ecoSPIRITS Oceans Program. For each ecoTOTE delivered as part of the pilot, a donation will fund the removal of more than two pounds of single-use plastic, glass and other man-made wastes removed from endangered marine environments.
Currently, Carnival recycles single-use glass items. Each ship in the fleet is outfitted with a recycling center, where crew members sort paper, plastic and glass recyclables. Last year, Carnival processed more than 11 million pounds of recyclables.
For more details about Carnival’s sustainability goals and initiatives, visit carnivalsustainability.com. To find out more about Bacardi and its ESG – Environmental, Social & Governance – commitments, including its alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, visit bacardilimited.com. For more details on the ecoSPIRITS Oceans Program, visit ecospirits.global.