Sustainability is incorporated into everything that we do at Natural Distilling Co and is something that we strive to achieve every day. We incorporate environmentally friendly practices in the use of Hemp, since it’s one of the most sustainable plants in the world. All ingredients in the making of our gins are Australian grown, which is another eco friendly decision.
We focus on a sustainable work environment, keeping everything as close to home as possible in a closed loop – growing locally, distributing locally and employing locally. Natural Distilling Co incorporates a sustainable work life balance ensuring that employees are fulfilled and satisfied (…a pinch of gin may have something to do with that!).
We can proudly say that all our packaging and our products are also completely sustainable. Yes, you did read that correctly. Eco friendly sustainable packaging!
Did someone say eco friendly sustainable packaging?
Through hard work and research, we’ve discovered that it’s possible not only to produce sustainably made delicious alcohol, but also to ensure that its packaging is eco-friendly. With Hemp being one of the most sustainable plants on the planet, how could we not include this goal of being ecofriendly in everything we do. It’s a must!
It can however be challenging to consider a cost effective way to move towards zero waste as a company – sometimes it’s hard to know which of our raw materials are sustainable and which aren’t. Like many Aussies, I have struggled with figuring out which things are actually recyclable, versus which aren’t.
While it's quick and easy to get a label maker and packing tape from the old Australia Post Shop and start sending out aesthetically pleasing packages, that doesn't help your environmental sustainability. An ethical way to promote responsible waste management and lower your carbon footprint would be to look into carbon neutral packaging which companies such as Biopak, Hero Packaging or Heaps Good provide here in Australia!
At home we get handed multiple bins with different coloured lids and it’s up to us to decipher what we think is recyclable and what is not – but most of the time people don’t think twice and throw their rubbish in any which bin. It’s easy to know with things like recycled paper or paper towels, but where do takeaway containers (for example) sit in the bigger picture of recycling in Australia?
When you have a business that supplies products around the country and with consideration of the environment you start thinking on a larger scale. When designing the custom packaging of the products, I started to wonder – how can we reduce, reuse and recycle here at NDC? Is bubble wrap recyclable? Is styrofoam recyclable? I know that people now use materials such as bamboo cutlery and bamboo plates, plus biodegradable plastic is starting to be a thing, but what elements of the Natural Distilling Co supply chain can actually be recycled? And when we use recycled materials or plant based or compostable packaging, what does this mean for shelf life?
It’s enough to make your head spin! We live for innovation, so keeping these questions in mind I started looking for a solution. Something that would allow our product along with its packaging to maintain what we strive to achieve: sustainability and a high quality product.
Waste Management and Environmental Sustainability
Have you ever thought about how much plastic waste you produce? You probably can’t imagine.
If we look at the quantity of plastics and other pollution that make its way in to our ecosystems daily due to human consumption, there would be many words to describe this, but – put simply, it’s ‘unbelievable’. The amount of waste one person can produce in a year is literally unbelievable. Statistics reveal that in one day alone, Australia produces the same amount of plastic waste to fill an entire beach. 85 percent of soft plastics from bags and packaging ends up in landfill. 95 percent of plastic packaging is discarded after single-use and approximately 40 percent of the overall plastic consumption per year is from plastic packaging.
When you read these statistics, it makes you think that things need to change. We decided that we are not going to be a part of that statistic – in fact, we’re aiming for Natural Distilling Co to be responsible for precisely 0% that waste.
So, we got searching for a solution – how to get to zero waste.
With our understanding of the drastic effects plastic and single use products are having on our planet, it seemed obvious to use environmentally sustainable packaging.
What does that mean exactly?
It means that we needed to find packaging products that were biodegradable and recyclable with the strength and ability to protect our precious bottles of delicious spirits while they’re en route to you.
An eco friendly solution to reduce our carbon footprint
With a lot of time and effort, we discovered a solution to solve our packaging dilemma. We joined forces with some of the smart packaging people who specifically focus on biodegradable packaging and recycling in Australia. By aligning ourselves with companies such as Heaps Good, Biopak and Hero Packaging, we’re leveraging their ability to provide carbon neutral packaging in order to substitute out single use plastic products, replacing them with biodegradable and recyclable products. We’ve found sustainable solutions for bubble mailers and packaging tape, and we’re starting to understand what the future of bioplastic might look like. Not only does this eco-friendly packaging safely carry our gin and vodka right to your doorstep, it even provides a meal for the worms afterwards! Don’t give them any gin though…
All our packaging is fully biodegradable and recyclable. That is something we are extremely proud of.
Our bottle labels, sticky tape, shipping labels and hex wrap are all biodegradable, and our bottles and cardboard boxes are completely recyclable.
I’m sure you’re wondering how on earth is it possible to have biodegradable packaging when it comes to shipping such an important bottle of liquid gold? Don’t worry – I wondered the same thing at first, and it required extensive testing.
Alternative to bubble wrap? The Hex Wrap. Hex wrap works the same magic as bubble wrap and is extremely eco-friendly, fully compostable and even recyclable! (Unfortunately, no enjoyment of popping the bubble wrap, but you’re not here for the bubble wrap right? You’re here for that bottle of Hemp goodness!).
We’ve swapped sticky tape for Eco tape which is made from renewable materials and can even be fed to your worms at home. Yep, even our bottle label is eco-friendly, only taking 6 months to break down in your home compost.
And once the last bit of liquid leaves your NDC glass bottle you can throw it in the recycle bin or local glass bin, or even use it as a trendy new vase for the dining table, reminding you of good times shared (until the bottle ran out!).
We even did that little bit extra by bringing in a thermal label printer, meaning no ink cartridges – because every bit counts in pursuit of zero waste when it comes to looking after the planet.
Not only do you benefit from consuming our healthy sustainable products, but your veggie garden is also getting a boost from all these compostable products!
Natural Distilling – Natural Science – Natural World
Here at Natural Distilling co we are very family orientated, only wanting the best for the next generation. So we’re doing our part to ensure that our kids have the best possible future, promoting sustainable practices and preventing the destruction of our beautiful environment.
We understand that its hard to be completely ecofriendly and reducing your single-use plastic waste isn’t as easy as it sounds, but every little bit counts. If you do your part by enjoying a bottle of Hemp Vodka, then good on ya! All joking aside, it really does make us proud to know that enjoying one of our Natural Distilling Co cocktails means knowing that you’re not damaging the environment.
For years I have thought how incredible it would be to be completely sustainable through everything we do at Natural Distilling Co – now we are, and we’re still looking for ways to improve. Thanks for coming on this journey with us and please do let us know if you have any ideas for how we become even more sustainable