Addressing climate change is a gigantic, scary challenge. But we have to start somewhere, and for vodka company 42Below, that place is the bottom of a cocktail glass.

The NZ-based vodka company is asking some of Sydney’s best bars to collect discarded lemon slices and other garnishes and, instead of turfing them in the bin, send them back to be turned into soap. What might sound like an unworkably tedious process for a busy bar is being made easier by 42Below, who organises to pick up the old fruit before sending soap back to the bars, free.

To our knowledge, it is the first soap to be made from recycled cocktail lemons (with the odd Martini olive thrown in for good measure).

Bars from across Australia and New Zealand have signed up and are handing over their leftover garnishes. Launching earlier this month, 400 kilos of fruit waste has already been collected and used to create 20,000 sachets and 300 bottles of liquid soap.

“All we have to do is throw used or discarded fruit from our cocktails and kitchen into special bags provided by 42Below, who collect them weekly,” says Christophe Lehoux, drinks director of Pocket Bar. “How much soap we get depends on how much fruit we provide, and in the last few weeks we got 25 litres of soap for free. The product itself is a really nice, light, lemony smelling soap.”

The 42Below Recycled Cocktail Lemons Eco Soap can be found at the following bars and restaurants, with bathroom posters explaining the process.

Sydney
Stitch Earl’s Juke Joint Pocket Bar Button Bar This Must Be The Place Maybe Frank Crooked Tailor Deus Bar & Kitchen East Village The Collaroy Hotel The Royal Acre Eatery Woollahra Hotel

Melbourne
The Carlton Hotel The Windsor Castle Hotel