Diageo's Reusable Spirits: Redefining Liquor Packaging

Diageo's eco-friendly revolution with ecoSPIRITS, offering reusable 4.5-liter liquor vessels, reducing carbon footprint and transforming the spirits industry.

Diageo's Reusable Spirits: Redefining Liquor Packaging

Diageo, a prominent beverage giant, is breaking away from traditional top-shelf liquor bottle designs to explore the feasibility of reusable packaging in collaboration with ecoSPIRITS, a circular economy startup. Over the next three years, Diageo plans to introduce Gordon’s gin, Captain Morgan rum, and Smirnoff vodka in refillable 4.5-liter vessels across 18 markets.

Each ecoSPIRITS "ecoTOTE" comprises a 4.5-liter glass bottle encased in plastic with an inner aluminum frame, designed to endure 150 refills. According to ecoSPIRITS, the carbon intensity of the ecoTOTE is lower than the equivalent number of single-use bottles replaced after just six refills. This system aims to replace 900 typical 750-milliliter glass bottles used by bars and restaurants over the tote's lifespan, boasting a 60 to 90 percent lower CO2 footprint than traditional bar bottles.

Diageo anticipates reductions in both carbon emissions and costs, offering pubs and bars the convenience of reusable spirits packaging. Glass bottles, constituting 20 percent of the carbon footprint of corn-based spirits, are a significant contributor to the carbon intensity of spirits production and distribution.

The partnership with ecoSPIRITS aligns with Diageo's "Society 2030 goal" set in 2020, aiming for net-zero carbon and 100 percent renewable direct energy over a ten-year period. EcoSPIRITS, based in Singapore, received $10 million in Series A funding in May 2022, led by Closed Loop Partners.

Diageo and ecoSPIRITS initiated a pilot program in 2022, offering Smirnoff in ecoTOTES to establishments in Bali and Jakarta. From this ongoing trial, Diageo estimates a potential 95 percent reduction in glass bottle usage, leading to decreased carbon emissions from transportation and distribution.

EcoSPIRITS plans to expand its circular packaging solution to additional markets, building evidence and optimizing systems to achieve Diageo's Society 2030 targets. A pivotal element in the process is the "ecoPLANT," one of 30 regional hubs where empty ecoTOTES are washed, refilled, and redistributed, ensuring a closed-loop system for small and large markets alike.

The collaboration between Diageo and ecoSPIRITS reflects a commitment to sustainability and circular packaging transitions, with ambitions to revolutionize the spirits industry's approach to packaging and reduce its environmental impact.


Keywords

Diageo , ecoSPIRITS , Reusable Packaging , Circular Economy , Sustainable Spirits

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