Today, Greta Thunberg delivered a stark reminder to world leaders about the worsening environmental crisis. However, sustainability is not just a matter for politicians; the topic is becoming increasingly vital in the beverage industry as well. Last week, Budweiser just announced plans to eliminate single sue plastic in the UK; Bacardi launched an awarenesses campaign that involves pressing vinyl records out of straws; and SodaStream shuttered in solidarity with the Global Climate Strike.
Budweiser Reaches for the Rings
In the UK, the Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG) announced a detailed plan to phase out single-use plastic rings on their products by the end of 2020.
BBG is a massive entity and the move will yield significant results. The conglomerate’s portfolio includes the titular Bud as well as Boddington’s, Corona, Beck’s, and Stella Artois.
The company said that they are investing £6.3 million ($7.83 million) to eliminate 850 metric tons of plastic annually. Plastic rings accounts for 250 metric tons of that number; the remaining 600 metric tons are attributed to shrink wrap. Recyclable alternatives such as paperboard will fill the void.
“We’re proud of the work we’ve already done so far, but we realized more needed to be done to address the issue of single use plastics,” said Paula Lindenberg, President of Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, in a statement.”This is another important step towards a more sustainable future, as we move towards brewing our biggest beer brands with 100% locally-sourced barley and 100% renewable electricity from solar power.”
Bacardi Spins Straws Into Vinyl
At this point, we all know that single-use plastic straws are highly problematic. But, if you insist on sucking, Bacardi and Lonely Whale have a suggestion. The spirits giant and the environmental activists partnered to up-cycle used plastic straws into vinyl records.
Dubbed the Vinyl Straw Project, the first pressing will be the single of “Make It Hot.” by Major Lazer and Anitta. (Note: There’s already plenty of Bacardi product placement in the “Make It Hot” music video.) The two artists will donate all proceeds from the vinyl sales to maritime conservationists Lonely Whale.
The push debuted last weekend at the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas where straws were collected. In the weeks ahead, special collection bins will pop up at 55 bars across the US.
The records will go on sale December 3, Giving Tuesday.
SodaStream is now part of PepsiCo, but the fizzy drink company still has some autonomy. That freedom applies to continuing SodaStream’s much ballyhooed environmentalist policies. On Friday, the company halted operations in support of the Global Climate Strike.
“The climate crisis is an emergency and can no longer be ignored. It is our responsibility as leaders to hear and raise the voice of the young generation today and act now,” said SodaStream CEO Eyal Shohat in a statement. “Caring for the planet is at the core of our company, and we have to walk the talk.”
For 24 hours, all SodaStream operations were shuttered internationally. The action even included the company’s websites which ran a splashapge displaying the message, “Global Climate Strike in Solidarity with the Young Generation for a Better Future.”