Family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, and Lonely Whale, the award-winning nonprofit dedicated to bringing forward courageous ideas that positively impact the health of the ocean, announced that they have joined forces to help rid the environment of single-use plastic, including the goal to eliminate one billion single-use plastic straws by 2020. 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.
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, to join the campaign entitled #TheFutureDoesntSuck.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
#TheFutureDoesntSuck formally kicks off in London, England, where the BACARDÍ rum brand and Lonely Whale will mobilize consumers and businesses to work together toward 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.
“In 2016, Bacardi led the drinks industry with the first #NoStraws campaign focusing on eliminating single-use plastic straw from its cocktails,” said Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale, in a statement. “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. 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 iconic 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 U.K. activations. In addition, BACARDÍ in the U.K. 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.
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 10 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, in a statement. “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.”
Both Bacardi and Lonely Whale are supportive of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, comprised of goals and targets set to stimulate action in areas of critical importance for both humanity and the planet. They believe that through partnerships with governments, other companies in the private sector and others, they can have a positive impact on many of the goals.
“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,” said Ives in a statement. “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.”
To join this global campaign, individuals can visit the campaign website and declare their commitment to ensuring #TheFutureDoesntSuck by committing to go plastic straw free and recruit restaurants, hotels, bars and other venues. Establishments can register their commitment and challenge others to do the same so that together everyone can ensure #TheFutureDoesntSuck.