Family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, and Lonely Whale, an award-winning incubator for courageous ideas that drive impactful change on behalf of our ocean, announced today a splashy partnership with one brave sea turtle Sydney to put an end to all plastic straw emoji usage. Giving a platform and voice to Sydney, Bacardi and Lonely Whale have issued a "cease and de-sip" letter to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that manages the emoji catalog, requesting the removal of plastic straws from the soda cup and cocktail emojis. The initiative is just one of many ways Bacardi and Lonely Whale are working together to ensure #TheFutureDoesntSuck, with the goal to eliminate one billion single-use plastic straws by 2020.
"Marine life is heavily affected by plastic waste and refusing the single-use plastic straw is one way each of us can take action," said Jacob Briars, global advocacy director for Bacardi. "With billions of emojis being used globally each day, we want to help drive a cultural change where our online world promotes a plastic-free, marine friendly straw, or strawless options for drinks, just as we at Bacardi continue to do so IRL."
Bacardi and Lonely Whale were eager to help Sydney shed light on the threat of plastic straw pollution, showing how one man's straw is another turtle's backyard trash. To ensure all of her friends on land could understand her turtle talk, Sydney worked with Bacardi and Lonely Whale to enlist comedian and activist Daniel Franzese to deliver her message.
"I was honored when Sydney first floated her anti-emoji straw campaign by me, mainly because I shared the same salty feelings about single-use plastic straws," said Daniel Franzese. "I challenge not only Unicode, but everyone to join and pledge so we can ensure a bright future for Sydney and all her marine life friends."
To give avid supporters an alternative emoji solution, Bacardi and Lonely Whale have released a collection of Giphy stickers inspired by the campaign. Bacardi and Lonely Whale hope that by removing plastic straws from digital usage, they too can shift cultural norms around drinking with single-use plastic straws altogether.
"Many have made a commitment to eliminate single-use plastic straws yet the emojis we use in social media haven't kept up with our commitment to an ocean free from plastic. What better way to delete the notion of using single-use plastic straws than by taking it out of the icons more than 90 percent of the world's online population uses every day to communicate?" said Dune Ives, executive director of Lonely Whale. "We hope that as we urge Unicode against including digital straws, consumers will sign #TheFutureDoesntSuck pledge to help us remove real plastic straws."
Since joining forces in 2018, Bacardi Limited and Lonely Whale have collaborated to spread the message of reducing the use of single-use plastic straws through brand activations, influencer events, social media and more. Together, they've recruited customers to join the pledge through campaigns in the United States, UK, China and New Zealand. Bacardi also committed to a full review of its supply chain to eliminate the use of plastic where possible while developing recyclable and biodegradable alternatives. Both Bacardi and Lonely Whale are supportive of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, comprised of goals and targets set to stimulate action in areas of critical importance for both humanity and the planet. To join this global campaign, visit www.thefuturedoesntsuck.org. There, individuals can declare their pledge to ensuring #thefuturedoesntsuck by committing to go plastic-straw free and recruit restaurants, hotels, bars and other venues to do the same. Establishments can register their commitment and challenge others to take the pledge so that together we can all ensure #thefuturedoesntsuck.