WASTE NOT
Sustainable Brands Issue in Focus
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Trending: Liquor Giants Serve Waste Reduction with a Twist in New Product, Campaign

Discarded is a sweet vermouth infused with cascara, the discarded fruit of the coffee berry. | Image credit: The Discarded

“In 2016, Bacardi led the drinks industry with the first #NoStraws campaign focusing on eliminating single-use plastic straws from its cocktails,” explained Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale, a non-profit dedicated to positively impact the health of the ocean.

“In 2017, Lonely Whale amplified this early leadership, creating one of the most celebrated global movements around the single-use plastic straw with our Strawless Ocean initiative to remove 500 million plastic straws from the U.S. waste stream,” Ives continued. “Now in 2018, we celebrate the combined power of Bacardi and Lonely Whale to reduce the single-use plastic straw population by one billion by 2020 in what we believe will become one of the most impactful environmental campaigns of this decade.”

The new collaboration was announced this week: Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, and Lonely Whale have joined forces on a campaign entitled #TheFutureDoesntSuck, with a goal to eliminate one billion single-use plastic straws by 2020. Through a series of corporate and brand collaborations, events, and calls-to-action around the world, Bacardi will encourage consumers, customers, and all those looking to lend their ideas and voices to the initiative.

In addition, Bacardi announced a commitment to review its global supply chain, with the aim of removing non-essential, non-recyclable single-use plastic waste.

“Engaging our accounts and our consumers in the reduction of single-use plastic is a critical next step in helping to put an end to plastic pollution,” said Rick Wilson, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility for Bacardi. “Single-use plastic items are among the most collected pieces of trash in our oceans, and we are urging our consumers to add 'No plastic straw, please' to every drink order so together we can make impactful change.”

Image credit: Lonely Whale/Bacardi

#TheFutureDoesntSuck formally kicked off in London, England, where the BACARDÍ® rum brand and Lonely Whale will mobilize consumers and businesses to work together towards the goal of achieving a radical reduction of single-use plastic straw consumption throughout the city. The campaign is supported with a series of illustrations that communicate the devastating impact of single-use plastic straws on the world's oceans.

The rum brand will eliminate single-use plastic straws from branded events, music activations, and the BACARDÍ Rum Truck while committing to use biodegradable paper cups across the UK activations. In addition, BACARDÍ in the UK will donate the proceeds of ticket sales from its Casa Bacardi music events, taking place throughout June and July in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, to the Lonely Whale’s Strawless Ocean initiative. In the fall, activity continues in North America as the rum brand activates the movement at all its major music activations.

“When Lonely Whale considered optimal ways to reduce future plastic pollution and help marine life, eliminating straws was a natural starting point. Americans alone are estimated to use around 500 million of these often non-essential single-use plastics every day. Removing straws from our daily lives could therefore have an enormously positive impact on our oceans' health,” Ives added. “But, straws are just the beginning. Our engagement with Bacardi promises to attract, surprise and educate individuals across all demographics and geographies and encourage them, as Bacardi is doing, to go beyond the straw and work collaboratively to ensure #TheFutureDoesntSuck.”

In support of the collaboration, the global headquarters of Bacardi in Bermuda launched a new training program for distributor partners and on-premise locations that offer alternatives to plastic straws. In the United States, where it's been reported that approximately 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded each day, Bacardi will continue to partner with national chains and independent accounts to promote plastic-free, marine-friendly straw, or strawless options for cocktails. Bacardi and Lonely Whale will expand the program in China and focus on programs with ten leaders in the hospitality and spirits industry to drive adoption of the pledge.

“Every day we have an army of people walking into bars and restaurants around the world. We share this campaign with our partners and people working the front-line, those who want to make their voice and support for eliminating single-use plastics heard,” said John Burke, chief marketing officer for Bacardi globally. “Just as importantly, we want to raise the table stakes. Our focus for the past two years has been leading the industry charge with our #NoStraws pledge and now is the time to review the larger issue of single-use plastic in the greater Bacardi world to determine how and where we can truly make a bigger difference and continue leading the charge to build a more sustainable future. I believe through collaborations like this one with Lonely Whale, where we can bring society and business together, we can make impactful change to ensure #TheFutureDoesntSuck.”


Meanwhile, William Grant & Sons UK, the makers of Hendrick’s Gin and Glenfiddich, has launched a new product that reduces waste. Discarded is a sweet vermouth infused with cascara, the discarded fruit of the coffee berry.

Despite that it is sometimes used as a fertilizer on coffee plantations, every year billions of tonnes of cascara are wasted in coffee production after the bean is extracted. Discarded takes what would be wasted and re-purposes it to bring a new flavour dimension to create a unique vermouth. As an ingredient, cascara is deep red in color, rich and fruity in flavor.

“The inspiration behind Discarded came from the world of coffee and cocktails becoming ever closer as day and night cultures start to combine. Two years ago, one of my barista friends gave me some cascara which I started to experiment with and blend with a variety of vermouths,” said Joe Petch, Global Brand Ambassador at William Grant & Sons. “What I found was that cascara is deep, complex, rich and fruity in flavor which makes the sweet vermouth more accessible and versatile in mixology. I have tried many vermouths in my career and Discarded is nothing like what I have tried before.”

To make Discarded, cascara is steeped into alcohol to produce the extract, once the infusion is ready, it is blended into the base of a fortified wine and other botanicals to achieve the flavor finish. The result is described as deep, rich and aromatic with an easy natural warmth. The taste is full and sweet and the indulgent fruity notes merge with the characteristic bitter notes of vermouth which dominate the clean, lingering finish. The signature serve is called The Discardier, a twist on the popular Boulevardier cocktail. It combines Discarded vermouth with Monkey Shoulder whisky and Campari, stirred over ice and garnished with a refreshing orange twist.

The brand is also promoting the reuse of its bottles, such as in the infographic below.

“We live in an age where single use is increasingly untenable,” said Tom Stannard, Global Marketing Manager, Innovation at William Grant & Sons. “What others have wasted we have welcomed and made the distinguishing feature in Discarded. In everything we do, we want to embody our brand purpose and to champion the Discarded.”

Infographic courtesy The Discarded.

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