The Bond Store, Kapiti NZ

Distillery urges support for small businesses on sustainability

Indian Newslink: 14/5/23

“Central and Local governments must support small businesses on climate change”: Chris Barber and Beck Kay with family 

Kapiti Coast, May 14, 2023

A family-owned distillery from the Kāpiti Coast is calling on the government and councils to provide better support to small businesses innovating to address climate change.

The Bond Store makes award-winning spirits from locally sourced ingredients, with its products sold across New Zealand.

It is stated to be the only distillery to run its own at-scale bottle-recycling scheme.

However, it said that small businesses like the Bond Store receive minimal support from central or local government for their sustainability efforts.

About the Scheme

Its recycling scheme collects used bottles from cafes, restaurants, and bars, which are then sanitised, refilled and returned to customers. The bottles are used up to seven times before they are eventually recycled.

Since 2019, thousands of bottles have gone through the Bond Store’s scheme, resulting in significant savings and a reduction in waste for both the business and its customers.

Bond Store Co-Founder Chris Barber said that most of the innovation occurring in sustainability, like their recycling programme, is being driven from the ground up by business owners.

“While we do not support the now deferred container recycling scheme, it sent an important signal to consumers and showed commitment to reduce waste. As a small New Zealand business, we are getting on and doing it ourselves. We have designed and run a smart solution that saves money and reduces waste,” he said.

Along with its recycling scheme, the distillery has released a series of successful collections dedicated to raising awareness for issues affecting sustainability; within the last year, they have released the best-selling Down the Garden Path, which has so far raised $5000 for a science and discovery centre at the Wellington Botanic Gardens. This follows their Gin Trap, Kawakawa gin which comes in a specially made rat trap to raise awareness for the protection of native fauna.

The Bond Store is also calling on the government to address how it indexes excise tax, adjusted annually for inflation.

The Bond Store Rat Trap Gin

From 1 July 2023, it is projected to increase by a minimum of 7%, in line with inflation.

“Currently, distillers pay $60.55 per litre of alcohol, and the projected increase will place additional pressure on small businesses like ours, which are also dealing with supply issues and increasing costs. Barber says that recognising initiatives like our bottle swap scheme and providing rebates for projects like this would provide immediate, much-needed relief,” Mr Barber said.

About The Bond Store

Chris Barber and Bec Kay purchased Koakoa Limoncello in 2017. Since then, they have grown the business to offer The Bond Store Kawakawa Gin and Vodka, limited-edition gins and its new range, Cocktail Collusion – bespoke readymade, premium cocktails in a can.

Focused on sustainable practices in their craft, they use lemons from Gisborne to make their award-winning Koakoa Limoncello, and Kawakawa from the Wairarapa to make their award-winning Bond Store gin. Available at selected bottle stores, customers can purchase their products online at


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