First Family of Tequila Launches “The Agave Project” to continue its development of new technologies and traditional-plastic alternatives using its own agave by-product
Jose Cuervo Tradicional — the original 100% agave tequila — today launches ‘The Agave Project’: a new initiative continuing the family company’s longstanding commitment to the land and people of Tequila and Mexico, while harnessing the potential of its lifeblood – the agave plant. The project’s latest creation is a more sustainable alternative to regular plastic straws, made from upcycled agave fibres: a first-of-its-kind biodegradable, bio-based drinking straw that will decompose up to 200 times faster than regular plastic.
Developed in partnership with the scientists at BioSolutions Mexico and the production team at Mexico-based PENKA, the creation of the agave-based straws set out to offer a more sustainable alternative for the beverage industry and utilizes the tons of fibrous material leftover from the tequila-making process. In 2020, millions of Jose Cuervo biodegradable agave-based straws will be rolled out at bars, restaurants, and Jose Cuervo events across the US and Mexico in a bid to reduce the consumption of regular plastics from the tequila-drinking experience.
As a family-run company with 225 years of tequila distilling experience, and the largest producer of agave by-product globally, Jose Cuervo has spent years exploring the potential of agave fibre as an alternative to plastic, paper, housing bricks and fuel. Working with new partners like BioSolutions Mexico and PENKA marks the beginning of the rapid innovation needed to produce these sustainable items at scale and drive meaningful environmental impact.
Made with an agave bio-based composite, the new straws replace around a third of the polymers used in traditional straw production, and at the end of its lifecycle can be consumed by microorganisms to fully biodegrade within one to five years in landfill conditions. This is a significant improvement over ordinary plastic drinking straws, which takes considerably more years in the same landfill conditions.
The agave-based straws feature a mouthfeel and texture similar to traditional plastic straws, with the agave fibres visibly creating a natural, organic tan colour. The use of agave fibre by-product is a transformative improvement on other plant-based materials as the natural resources needed for growth is very low compared to plant-based materials coming from corn or potato crops.
Jose Cuervo has actively been involved in 21 years of community projects through its foundation, from education to healthcare, providing local businesses in Tequila, Mexico with agave fibres for paper and beauty products and supplying agave fibres to American car manufacturers for research into sustainable, agave-based car parts.
Jose Cuervo, the world’s best-selling tequila, is the original tequila that blazed the trail many other brands have followed. Jose Cuervo remains dedicated to producing award-winning tequila today, utilizing the original recipe and distillation process from José Antonio de Cuervo himself.