25 Mar Cornish distillery turns waste alcohol into hand sanitiser
Having given out all of its free waste alcohol as a hand sanitiser substitute to those in need, Colwith Farm Distillery near Lostwithiel in Cornwall has fast-tracked negotiations with HMRC to produce and distribute duty exempt, World Health Organisation (WHO) grade hand sanitiser on an on-going basis.
Following owner Steve Dustow’s decision to make the distillery’s waste alcohol available to the general public free of charge, stocks were depleted in just 24 hours, with supplies going to frontline staff, police, nurses, teachers, social workers and those supporting the elderly and most at risk. Ensuing talks with HMRC has seen Steve negotiate approval to produce and distribute duty exempt alcohol for hand sanitiser throughout the coronavirus pandemic. This means that affordable hand sanitiser can now be produced safely and at short notice utilising the distillery’s equipment and expertise.
“Colwith Farm Distillery is the only distillery in the South West capable of producing the 96% ethanol required to make a 75% sanitiser from scratch,” explains owner Steve Dustow.
“With the help of HMRC we have managed to fast track a licence that would normally take 45 working days in under a week. There have been a number of challenges including sourcing the most cost-effective and appropriate bottles. In order to keep up with demand and sidestep price hikes in the supply chain we have started fermenting black molasses this week. We are pleased to be able to react quickly in this challenging time and provide a product that can help protect the NHS and potentially save lives.”
The 100ml bottles of WHO 75% Handrub solution are available from the Colwith Farm Box Shop at Lanlivery, and online at www.colwithfarmdistillery.co.uk . The product comes in safe, recyclable PET plastic bottles with pump tops to minimise risks of spillage and help reduce usage and can be purchased in quantities of five or ten including express courier service. Bulk orders can be secured by emailing the distillery direct on firstname.lastname@example.org
The distillery is already supplying the NHS and many key-worker businesses with product. Steve is particularly keen to hear from NHS Trusts, councils and police forces to ensure the hand sanitiser is reaching those most in need.