Recyclable gin pouch is a UK first for Dunnet Bay Distillers
A CAITHNESS distillery has launched a recyclable gin pouch – the first of its kind in the UK – in a bid to improve its eco-friendly credentials.
Martin Murray, co-founder of Dunnet Bay Distillers, said: "It is part of our overall focus. We have always been into sustainability.
"The pouches are just great – they allow us to ship much more. It's a win for us and a win for the environment as well."
The business, home of the Rock Rose brand, is the first to have secured the support of Royal Mail for a postal recycling scheme which it believes will be embraced by customers.
If consumers already have one of the collectable ceramic gin bottles, they can order the pouches – which fit through a letterbox – for £4 less than the price of ordering a new bottle. Once emptied, the pouches can be returned to Dunnet Bay via Freepost.
The company will also be offering local customers the chance to pop along to a refill station at the distillery. Along with the core gins, the distillery's vodka is available in a refill pouch.
The pouches are just great – they allow us to ship much more. It's a win for us and a win for the environment as well.
Since the refills were launched through the firm's website in September, there has been a great response and the new scheme will continue to be phased in. Dunnet Bay Distillers will be rolling out the service to shops in November and then on to bars and restaurants.
Martin said: "It is something new to us and we are really happy that it got a final stamp of approval. We have already had significant interest from Germany."
Admitting that they were a little apprehensive to start with, he added: "We are quite proud of this. It is a credit to think a small company in Caithness is the first to do this in the UK."
Dunnet Bay Distillers had carried out research before into the use of recyclable pouches and has been working on the recyclable pouches for over a year in partnership with PA Consulting.
The consulting company – introduced through Interface, facilitated by Highlands and Islands Enterprise – created the lightweight refill solution for the current bottles of Rock Rose gin with a closed loop returns system for the pouches to be recycled by TerraCycle.
A four-layer laminate pouch was selected to lock in all the freshness of the gin, with an easy-to-use plastic spout closure.
As the pouches are half the weight of the bottles, the distillery can now ship twice the amount, and it also significantly reduces the amount of packaging that was required for protecting the bottles.
The environment is vitally important to the company and it has introduced many green policies at the distillery. It hopes to have a fully biodegradable refill by 2025 as part of the overall green strategy.
Last month the business was named the Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year.
At the prestigious awards ceremony in Glasgow the firm also collected a gold award for its Rock Rose Premium Scottish Gin Winter Edition and a silver award for Rock Rose Old Tom Pink Grapefruit.