Bacardi’s 42Below Vodka brand’s circular economy initiative — the project collects used lemons, martini olives and other fruit waste from bars, turns it into liquid soap and sends it back to the bars for free — has diverted 400 kilograms of fruit waste from landfills since it launched in December 2016.
Recycling the used fruit into soap has created 20,000 sachets and 400 bottles of liquid soap. The beverage company says it is the “world’s first soap made from recycled cocktail lemons, and probably the odd martini olive.”
The initiative has been a boon to participating bars, saving them money on soap and reducing their waste generated.
“To be honest, 42Below has made it incredibly easy,” said Christophe Lehoux, art and drinks director at House of Pocket in Sydney, Austria. “They provided the bags, they come and pick it up, then they bring the soap – we just need to put scraps aside. As for savings, since starting the program in the last couple of weeks, we have we have saved on buying at least 25L of soap.”
Customers in the bathrooms see posters that explain the process and they use the recycled soap. And because customers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods and services, and are choosing to buy from companies they believe are doing social or environmental good, this circular economy initiative will also likely translate to increased loyalty and sales for the bars themselves.
42Below has signed up a several bars in Australia and New Zealand to participate in the project. No word on if the initiative will expand to the US or Europe. But it is one of several global environmental sustainability efforts pursued by Bacardi in recent years.
The company’s Dewar Aberfeldy Distillery in the Scottish Highlands cut its carbon footprint by 90 percent after installing a biomass boiler in late 2014. The same year Martini, owned by Bacardi, said it cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent and water use by 4 percent since 2006.
Bacardi has also collaborated with Ryder and partnered with the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership to reduce transport emissions by using vehicles equipped with clean, fuel-efficient SmartWay Verified Technologies.
And last year, in another effort to reduce waste, Bacardi announced it would no longer use straws or stirrers at its corporate events, the Spirits Business reports.