Nomadic Beerworks Saves 6k Can Toppers From the Landfill (and counting!)
Photo credit to Nomadic Beerworks; Founding brothers Bryce (left) and Dan (right) Tyranski
Nomadic Beerworks owners, Dan and Bryce Tyranski bring a staunch commitment to creating a positive environmental impact to their Austin beer-making business. Conscious awareness of how their talents can be used for good truly shines. Advocates leading by example everyday to make the Austin beer world a better place.
The team at Nomadic pioneered the first ever carrier collection point in Austin for those ever-accumulating brightly colored plastic can toppers. They teamed up with the Texas State engineering team to reuse them to make furniture! Brilliant, right? Since they began offering onsite collection to the public, Nomadic has saved over 6k can toppers from the landfill. That’s over 400 pounds of single-use plastic, folks…and counting. Dan claims, “The can carrier collection is just one of our initiatives to become the best brewery we can possibly be for our Planet.”
As a fellow fan of good beer and keeping our planet healthy, I asked Dan to elaborate more on their goals and aspirations when it comes to the environment. Read on for more!
What inspired Nomadic to become the first carrier collection point in Austin?
Inspiration for this project came from the United States’ recycling supply chain crises generated from the sheer amount of plastic waste generated in our communities. Dan recalls that in the past, the solution has been to send our recycling to China, however that has since stopped as China has since stopped accepting our plastics, as Forbes discusses in greater detail. Unfortunately, that leads to plastic being rerouted to landfills. “This made us want to take care of one of the beer industry’s plastic waste streams, the plastic can topper. We invited our community to bring their plastic toppers to our facility, with the promise that we’d personally make sure they were actually recycled,” Dan notes. Patrons can simply bring used toppers, drop them in their homemade bins, and Nomadic will take it from there.
The cleaning process is fairly simple. First, they ensure the toppers aren’t damaged…broken retention tabs are among the most common issues they see. This happens when beers are pulled from the toppers and can break the plastic. Toppers in topnotch shape get cleaned and sanitized via a run through the dishwasher. They get the full warm soapy water treatment plus a sterilizing chlorine sanitizer run, and a final water rinse. At that point, voila, they’re ready to be used again! Good as new.
What will happen to the recycled plastic toppers?
The Nomadic team is blown away by Austinites’ participation and positive response to the initiative. Soon, boxes upon boxes accumulated of donated toppers, and the team quickly realized they couldn’t reuse them for their personal use fast enough. Dan says, “We were about to get buried in plastic so I began searching for a local solution. I eventually found the Texas State Engineers via a plastics manufacturing & recycling blog. They were working on a program to collect, shred, melt, and reform the plastic into new objects.” Adding, “Currently the engineering team I am working with is manufacturing a modular seating system. They have created molds for modular blocks, which connect together to create benches. These will not be for sale but there is a plan for the bench system to be adopted to provide seating at the university.” How innovative!
Nomadic is ALSO currently working on a system that would turn those plastic toppers into brewery tap handles! Dan notes, “It just doesn’t make environmental sense to produce tap handles at a different location using new plastic, have them packaged into a cardboard box made from trees, and then have it shipped to us using a vehicle that burns fossil fuel. We’ve got all of this plastic right here at the brewery and we plan to put it to good use!” I’ll drink to that!
Photo credit to Nomadic Beerworks
Nomadic created the hashtag #BeersToABetterWorld to help track their sustainability progress. While eco-friendly seems to go hand in hand with their daily grind, Dan says, in particular, “I think the collection point is my favorite thing we’ve done on the environmental front because it is so simple but has so much potential. Beer enthusiasts get to play a role in our environmental work, we’ve had the chance to connect with people from other industries in order to find new solutions and uses for plastic, and we’ve been able to share this idea within our own industry which has resulted in the adoption of collection points at other breweries & bottle shops in the city. It’s just really cool to work with people who see this plastic “waste” as a resource. It’s awesome!” he concludes.
We agree, Dan! It IS awesome! Make sure to follow Nomadic on Instagram and Facebook for all their latest releases, news, and Earth-loving projects!
[Feature photo credit to Nomadic Beerworks]