Kapiti News

Hospo buy-in boosts bottle swap scheme

Distiller expanding its drive to cut waste


Abottle swapping scheme by award-winning Paraparaum­u-based distillery The Bond Store is expanding as Wellington’s bars and hospitalit­y providers sign up to embrace waste reduction and ramp up sustainabi­lity.

The scheme sees bars, cafes and restaurant­s able to return used gin and vodka bottles to the distillery, so they can be cleaned, refilled and returned up to seven times before they are eventually sent for recycling.

It was increased through a waste minimisati­on grant from the Kāpiti Coast District Council and has saved thousands of bottles as well as reducing costs for participat­ing customers.

While it is more work and doesn’t save money for the distillery, it’s the right thing to do, the business says.

Kuikui Lane is a new addition to Wellington’s bar scene and is fast becoming a favourite for the city’s cocktail lovers.

It is the latest in a raft of businesses to sign up to the scheme and take increased action over its own environmen­tal footprint.

Now, at least 10 per cent of the bar’s glass waste is diverted from the recycling plant and reused at The Bond Store, coming back freshly refilled.

Kuikui Lane bar manager Jessica Pointer said the scheme is invaluable.

A big part of the business’ ethos is sustainabi­lity and working with likeminded people, and the bottle swapping scheme allows for both.

“We hope more distilleri­es follow suit. We simply rinse our empty bottles, keep them in boxes and return them every four to six weeks, before they come back restocked,” Pointer said. “We’ve saved around 100 bottles so far.”

She said it was a “no brainer” to include The Bond Store as an integral part of the bar’s menu, because it matched so well with the philosophy of supporting local and sustainabi­lityfocuse­d producers.

“High-quality products with a real community and zero waste vibe is why we will continue to support them.”

With the help of schemes like The Bond Store’s bottle swapping, there is the opportunit­y for real change.

“We are on a mission to continue to do better, trying to work with our suppliers to limit unnecessar­y waste. If we all do our part, we can create real change in the hospitalit­y sector and our impact on the environmen­t.”

Wellington’s East by West’s electric ferry has also signed up to the scheme.

The company recently won the Green Gold Award at the 2022 Wellington Gold Awards for the first fully

electric, high-speed passenger ferry in the Southern Hemisphere, and showing a high level of commitment to lowering environmen­tal impacts.

Stocking The Bond Store’s spirits for its onboard bar and cocktail cruise charters allows it to add an extra level of sustainabi­lity to its business.

The Bond Store co-founder Chris Barber said most of their customers share their ethos about waste reduction and that the scheme is part of wider change.

“It’s about shifting people’s awareness to the fact that these bottles can be reused, and they don’t have to be simply thrown in the recycling crate once empty,” he said.

“This kind of thinking makes a big impact to a business such as a bar or restaurant, and it has the knockon effect of prompting people to think the same way about the other things

they use and dispose of too.”

 ?? ?? Jessica Pointer with some bottles that will be reused.
Jessica Pointer with some bottles that will be reused.

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