A SOAP maker has vowed not to rest on her green laurels even after bagging a Bendigo Sustainability Award.
Julie Andrews' Urthly Organics received the award in the businesses with less than 10 employees category recently.
"I'd still like to cut out all plastic packaging in a few years' time," she said.
"Liquid soap is a great example of that. You can't make a liquid soap and put it in a paper box.
"You could use tin, but how do you pump it out? All pumps manufactured in the world right now use plastic.
"So it's going to be tricky but we will see what happens."
The Bendigo Sustainability Group would have recognised Ms Andrews at a ceremony if the coronavirus pandemic had not forced its cancellation, member Liz Martin said.
"We decided to still run the awards so we could deliver positive stories," she said.
Urthly Organics was recognised for its focus on making face creams, soaps, toothpaste and body washes from all natural materials, Ms Martin said.
The company also sources plastic and paper packaging that would otherwise go to landfill.
"I've been making soaps for 22 years and the processes I have used have always been sustainable," Ms Andrews said.
"I've always tried to keep my rubbish down and gone off to the recycling and other businesses to source packaging."
Urthly Organics has really taken off in the last five years, prompting Ms Andrews to recently move production out of her house and into an East Bendigo warehouse.
"Bar soap, in particular, has come back into fashion. The zero waste movement has certainly helped lift its popularity," she said.
"And I've been able to gain contacts in different areas. You do a trade show and you get stores and wholesalers who come on board."
Urthly Organics has stayed open during the pandemic.
"The biggest preventative against the virus is washing your hands and face with soap and water," Ms Andrews said.
"A lot more people are aware of that and have been stocking up with more bar and liquid soap."
The BSG is revealing the winners of one sustainability award category every week on Facebook.
The first post went live last Sunday and featured Murray Berrill and Kelly Effenberg in the home and garden category.
The pair turned their 120-year-old cottage into a restored, renovated and sustainable house with a backyard permaculture garden.
"This is a great example of how you can turn older buildings into sustainable dwellings, easy on energy and waste and self sufficiency on a smaller suburban block," the BSG said.
"Solar panels, recycled materials and creative use of space including a new modern addition as a studio where they lived while gutting and fixing the cottage up with insulation and extra light."
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