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Scotch whisky firm donates alcohol to city to assist in the production of hand sanitiser

International spirits firm Edrington has donated high strength alcohol to Glasgow City Council to allow it to produce hand sanitiser for front line workers during the current Covid-19 crisis.

Graham Hutcheon, Edrington’s Managing Director, Group Operations and Chairman of North British Distillery said: “We’re really pleased to donate high strength spirit from North British Distillery to Glasgow City Council to make hand sanitiser that will help front line workers to operate safely in our communities. We’re also delighted to be gifting hand sanitiser to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, given the Lord Provost’s position as President of the Beatson Cancer Charity.”

Edrington, headquartered in Glasgow, offered to assist the council in its production of sanitiser. Their initial donation will allow around more than 1000 litres of sanitiser to be developed, with more to be supplied in the future to keep up with demand. The Scotch Whisky firm produces some of the best-known single malt Scotch Whiskies, including The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes and The Famous Grouse blended Scotch.

International footballer Joanne Love, who has been capped for Scotland more than 190 times, and has a day job as a chemical analyst with Glasgow City Council’s Scientific Services, is part of the scientific team who took delivery of the donation of the first batch of alcohol today (Thursday 16 April).

They are busy creating sanitiser for council workers like care home staff and refuse collectors, as they deliver essential services across the city.

Jo said: “I’m glad to be able to do my bit for staff, we all want to get through this pandemic safely. Football fans will know that I was meant to be playing in the qualifying matches for UEFA Women’s EURO 2021. In these difficult times I’m proud to be helping our front-line workers and those they serve.”

Glasgow’s Lord Provost Philip Braat, who has been leading the council’s appeal for donations of PPE supplies, said: “This very public spirited and generous gesture by Edrington will make a real difference to staff on the ground. I want to thank everyone involved in this effort.  As President of the Beatson Cancer Charity, I know this gesture will greatly benefit the staff at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, so I am also extremely grateful, on their behalf, for this donation. I also wish to emphasise that the council is still in need of any PPE supplies that firms and individuals are able to donate.”

Duncan Scott, a chartered chemist and Scientific Services Group Chemical Analyst explained the production process and its challenges. He said: “We’re working shifts some at home, some on the premises, to mitigate against possible illness – so there are always staff available.

“This donation means we’re working flat out to prepare and label 1000 bottles of hand sanitiser. They come in around five different sizes from handbag size to a large industrial size, depending on the setting it is used in.

“The alcohol has to be denatured and mixed with other reagents to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) alcohol rub specifications. There are two basic types that are acceptable one alcohol-based and the other ethanol based. Both the manufacture and labelling of the sanitiser follow stringent guidelines.”

Anyone able to donate PPE supplies to Glasgow City Council to help front line workers should contact John.Paterson3@glasgow.gov.uk

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