SWEDEN – Scandinavian distillery start up Gotland Spirits has launched SPILL, the world’s first Vodka made from food waste.
Spill according to a statement from the distiller was made possible through a partnership with Coop, one of Sweden’s largest grocery retailers.
Gotland receives food waste from Coop to make its premium vodka and in the process, helping one of Sweden’s largest grocery chains become waste-free.
The Food wastage problem
Both the U.S. and the EU are similar in terms of where the most food gets wasted along the supply chain: at consumer-facing levels, including grocery stores.
Food waste per capita in these regions totals to about 95-115 kg/year, compared to 6-11 kg/year in Subsaharan Africa and Southeast Asia
“Some 88 million tonnes of food are wasted in the EU every year, equivalent to 173 kilos per person,” says Gotland Spirits in a press release. “Not only is this a waste of resources, it also contributes to climate change.”
“We thought, what if instead of producing new carbs, can we recycle what’s already out there,” said Johan Johansson, founder of Gotland Spirits.
The distillery rethought the process of how alcohol is produced, and through some innovative lab work, they developed a way to turn food waste into alcohol.
And by fine tuning the process, they were able to come up with a high quality 45% ABV spirit.
The partnership with Coop was critical in this development as the distillery needed to gather large amounts of food waste.
When approached, Coop quickly embraced the idea.
As a result, very week, tons of food that has passed the expiration date is taken to the startup’s distillery where it is turned into a beverage with unlimited durability.
Commenting on the partnership, Markus Wahlgren, store manager at Coop Gotland said: “For us, it’s a great opportunity to add to the circular flow and reduce our carbon footprint”.
The spirits industry overall has been hearing itself for a more sustainable future.
In January, Beefeater Gin unveiled a new, more sustainable Gin bottle that will allow the Pernod Ricard-owned brand to save 410 tonnes of plastic every year.
Misadventure Vodka, based in Southern California, also makes vodka from rescued baked goods and on the beer side of things, a company called Toast makes craft beer from surplus bread.
“Gotland Spirits is a small Swedish distillery with big dreams of a sustainable world. They want to revolutionize the alcohol industry by making products that are truly sustainable,“ the press statement read.
But before their big dreams are spread across the continent, the small distillery is making sure European citizens living in Sweden will have the opportunity of consuming alcohol in a responsible way!
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