We’ve all read the horror stories about plastic pollution and its impact on sea life. Indeed, it’s been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks, following the release of the eye-opening Netflix documentary, Seaspiricy.
Plastic isn’t the only reason all seven species of sea turtle are today either endangered or threatened, but it’s one of the big ones.
Globally, researchers estimate that more than half of all sea turtles have eaten plastic and every year thousands die after getting tangled in plastic fishing nets. And it’s true that commercial fishing is responsible for an awful lot sea turtle deaths – either through discarded nets and other fishing gear or ‘bycatch’, where marine species are unintentionally caught and either killed or harmed.
As a rum brand devoted to sea turtle conservation, you won’t be surprised to learn that we’ve worked hard to ensure Lost Years is 100% plastic free. Indeed, this was one of our big commitments from day one, alongside our fundraising for community-based sea turtles conservation and carbon off-setting.
It’s been quite a challenge achieving this, and it costs us more, but it’s something we feel very strongly about. Judging by the supportive comments we get from our customers, it’s something you care about to.
Here’s a few of the things we’ve done so far:
- The packaging we use for customer orders is one of the most eco-friendly options available. Made of FSC certified cardboard, it’s 100% recyclable and has a minimal amount of printed surface. The internal sleeve breaks down and biodegrades readily, is non-toxic and is made of 100% recycled material, which has a lower carbon footprint than using virgin cardboard.
- We’ve banned plastic tape on all our boxes and replaced it with tape made of 100% recycled paper.
- The clear tamper-evident seal on our bottle may look like plastic, but it is actually made from plant-based cellulose which composts in a matter of weeks. We sought out the only company in the world that offers this solution.
- The cork stopper is made from FSC certified wood and the by-products of cork production.
- Rather than opting for a bottle with a thick, heavy glass base like so many premium spirits, we’ve chosen a lighter option to reduce our carbon emissions when moving our product. The bottle itself is made of over one third recycled and is itself fully recyclable.
We review our supply chain every year to ensure we are using the most eco-friendly products and services available and to ensure our partners share our commitment to sustainability.
We also offset our carbon emissions by planting and protecting the eco wonder-plant seagrass in Latin America (it captures carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests!). More on that to follow!
There’s always more to do and we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our sustainability, but these decisions are a step in the right direction and show what can be achieved when you choose to take a stand.