Concept: Singaporean startup ecoSPIRITS has launched the world’s first low carbon, low waste spirits distribution technology to eliminate packaging waste in the premium spirits supply chain. To extend its closed-loop distribution system to the US market, it has collaborated with Park Street, a US-based importing and distribution company. Spirit producers, distributors, and hospitality operators can save money and lower their environmental impact by collaborating with ecoSPIRITS.
Nature of Disruption: The closed-loop distribution system aims to eliminate single-use glass. The startup’s technology includes the patented EcoTote 3.0S, a fully reusable, tamper-proof, and shock-proof 4.5-liter glass vessel that replaces the standard six-bottle spirits case, as well as a semi-automated facility that sanitizes, refills, and seals spirits. This allows businesses to reduce packaging and transportation costs while also lowering their carbon footprint. EcoTote is filled and transported to a bar, then picked up and returned to the filling facility to be refilled, removing all single-use glass and plastic from the process. It also has worldwide cloud-based asset tracking and usage tracking to help with supply chain management and security. The SmartPour 1.0S is a proprietary electronic dispense unit that is clean, precise, and quick for delivering spirit directly from the EcoTote to the serving vessel. It helps in the faster refilling of 700-ml glass bottles, even at high volumes, for efficient back-of-house operations. This system complies with international best practices in the management of spirits and requires no additional equipment or installation. The EcoTotes’ reverse logistics distribution system, known as the Closed Loop Service Network, results in a 90% decrease in packing costs.
Outlook: The US is a major global beverage alcohol market, producing over 12 million tons of glass annually, with 7.6 million tons ending up in landfills. The ecoSPIRITS technology claims to eliminate over 14.5 pounds of emissions each 9-liter case equivalent that runs through its closed-loop system by removing single-use glass packaging. While glass recycling typically reduces the carbon footprint associated with new single-use glass by 15-25%, ecoSPIRITS boasts to eliminate practically all single-use glass waste related to spirits. The closed-loop technology has been licensed in 18 countries across the globe, including the European Union, the UK, and major Asian markets. It also has significant partnerships with Accor Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. In 2022, the startup plans to expand to ten new markets. Additionally, it has established a licensing agreement with Third Eye Distillery in Goa and plans to roll out closed-loop service across the country in 2022, beginning in February in Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka.