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Coronavirus: Businesses unite to make hand sanitiser


Copeland Gin Distillery have made anti bacterial hand sanitiser.

Copeland Gin Distillery have made anti bacterial hand sanitiser.

Gareth Irvine of Copeland Gin

Gareth Irvine of Copeland Gin

Copeland Gin Distillery have made anti bacterial hand sanitiser.

Northern Ireland businesses are coming together in an effort to tackle coronavirus by producing hand sanitiser.

The alcohol-gel based product has become highly sought after as people across the world desperately try to fend off the deadly virus.

With pubs, bars, restaurants and even off-licences being forced to close distilleries have lost almost all trade in the blink of an eye. In order to fight back against Covid-19 and going bust several have decided to switch to hand sanitiser production rather than shut down completely.

The Copeland Gin distillery in Donaghadee, Co Down, hope to be able to distribute 5L tubs (below) and 500ml vacuum bags on a weekly basis in the coming days and weeks.

Tim McKee, brand development manager at Copeland, said: "Unfortunately there are no individual bottles for hand sanitiser left available on the planet so we decided on doing refills instead. We are aiming for 30,000 litres a week but that sill wouldn't be enough. Our traditional business is all but gone and we wanted to try and keep people in work and keep the business going.

"St John Ambulance were on and we're going to be donating to them and other essential workers and key businesses, we're going to donate as much as we can. We are certainly not doing this to make money from vulnerable people, we're trying to balance staying afloat and helping people.

Another Northern Ireland brand, Rock-A-Doodle-Do hot sauce, stepped in to help the fight against the virus by donating several hundred glass bottles.

Owner of Rock-A-Doodle-Do hot sauce, David Kernaghan, told Sunday Life: "We had bought a few thousand bottles for the Ward Park gig in Bangor last year and at the last minute the council banned all glass containers. I realised these would be perfect for people to carry in their pockets, they'll certainly be more use to the public than us!"

Other well known local drinks brands are adapting their distilleries to produce sanitiser. They include Shortcross Gin at its Rademon Estate distillery and Echlinville Distillery on the Ards Peninsula, home to Jawbox Gin, which is producing gel using a World Health Organisation formula.

Belfast Telegraph