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Carnival Cruise Line Piloting Program to Reduce Single-Use Glass at Sea

Carnival Cruise Line Piloting Program to Reduce Single-Use Glass at Sea

A pilot program being tested aboard three Carnival ships aims to reduce single-use glass liquor packaging with a more sustainable solution.

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Through a partnership with spirits brand Bacardi and circular economy technology startup ecoSPIRITS, Carnival Cruise Line is testing closed-loop packaging on three ships as part of a new pilot program.

Carnival is testing the new program with Bacardi rum

The purpose of the pilot is to test if Bacardi rum can be served on Carnival ships in reusable containers created by ecoSPIRITS, reducing single-use packaging by 95%. Three ships departing from Miami—Carnival Celebration, Carnival Horizon, and Carnival Sunrise—are participating in a three-month concept test.

In a press release, the cruise line stated that Bacardi rum was chosen for the pilot because it’s one of the most popular spirits throughout the fleet and a key ingredient in some of Carnival’s artisan cocktails.

“As we continue to work towards our sustainability goals, the collaborative work of our beverage team, ecoSPIRITS, and Bacardi is a great example of thinking in ways that are truly out-of-the-box, or in this case—out-of-the-bottle, to develop new partnerships and practices that further our ongoing efforts,” said Zachary Sulkes, senior director of beverage operations at Carnival Cruise Line.

EcoSPIRITS’ new packaging was designed for cruise ships

EcoSPIRITS developed a Cruise Edition of its patent-pending glass packaging format ecoTOTE especially for the marine environment to accommodate the new partnership. Each ecoTOTE replaces about four bottles of Bacardi Superior rum and can be used, cleaned, and refilled 100 times in a closed loop system.

SmartPour technology from ecoSPIRITS will be used to transport the rum from the ecoTOTE to the serving format. Bacardi Superior rum-based drinks will be served by beverage team members using new silver and red Bacardi-branded SmartPours that will be positioned in select bars on the three ships.

New silver and red Bacardi-branded SmartPours will be used in select bars on three Carnival ships (image courtesy of Carnival)

“As we strive to become the most environmentally responsible global spirits company, we are continuously looking for opportunities to deliver our beautiful drinks in more sustainable packaging and formats, helping us build to a greener future,” said Rodolfo Nervi, Vice President, Global Safety, Quality & Sustainability for Bacardi.

“Innovating in closed loop packaging has been a top priority for us for a number of years, so launching our very first ecoTOTE for BACARDĺ rum on a Carnival cruise ship and seeing the doors this trial will open, is an incredibly exciting step forwards in that journey,” Nervi continued in a press release.

An innovator in circular economy technology, ecoSPIRITS first developed its patent-pending closed loop system in 2018. The system is the world’s first low-carbon, low-waste distribution technology for premium spirits and wine.

“We are extremely proud to be working with both Bacardi and Carnival on this industry first for the cruise sector. Working with forward-thinking partners like this strengthens our collective focus on sustainable practices and our shared goal to eventually eliminate packaging waste across the industry,” said Zdenek Kastanek, Managing Director of ecoSPIRITS USA.

The system being used in the pilot is the world’s first low-carbon, low-waste distribution technology for premium spirits and wine (image courtesy of Carnival)

“We could not be more delighted to be welcoming Bacardi to our portfolio of Climate Partners and, by launching in ecoTOTE format for the first time onboard Carnival’s ships, it will send a clear message that circular packaging is the most sustainable solution for the cruise industry,” Kastanek added.

The new program will support endangered marine environments

The ecoSPIRITS Oceans Program will also benefit from the new partnership. For each ecoTOTE supplied as part of the pilot, a donation will pay for the removal of more than two pounds of single-use plastic, glass, and other man-made waste from endangered marine environments.

Carnival currently recycles single-use glass products. Every ship in the fleet has a recycling center where crew members separate recyclable paper, plastic, and glass. In 2022, Carnival processed more than 11 million pounds of recyclables.

For more details about Carnival’s sustainability goals and initiatives, visit carnivalsustainability.com.

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What do you think about Carnival’s new pilot program to reduce single-use glass on its ships? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Karstunen

Michaela

Sunday 17th of September 2023

I'm glad to hear that a big cruise line like Carnival is trying to be more eco-friendly. Here's my question though: do you know if Carnival or any cruise line is actively working to reduce single-use plastics too? I don't drink much alcohol, but I drink lots of water. At home, I refill my big sports bottle with filtered water, but on a cruise ship it seems like bottled water is the only option. I hate the idea of adding to landfills by buying bottled water on the ship. Have any cruise lines started offering filtered water refill stations like many airports do?

Carrie Ann

Monday 18th of September 2023

Hi Michaela, excellent question! Many cruise lines (including Carnival) are also working to reduce single-use plastics, most notably with plastic straws. Some cruise lines have switched to water in recycled paper cartons (NCL comes to mind). I've also sailed on some cruise lines that use canned water on at least some sailings, like Royal Caribbean. Haven't seen this yet on Carnival, unfortunately.

To your other question, I also carry my giant reusable water bottle around and I'm always so happy to find refill stations with filtered water! I've never seen those airport-style stations on a cruise ship, but I have a tip for you. All the water from sinks on Carnival ships is potable, meaning it's safe to drink - but the water from your stateroom faucet won't always taste very good. However, the self-serve water stations in the buffets are double-filtered and I don't mind the taste at all. The spa also has filtered and infused water in the relaxation room (you can usually access it via the fitness center if you don't have a spa appointment). Carnival also lets you carry on up to 12 cans of water at embarkation, and they do recycle the cans. Hope this helps, and happy cruising!