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Green vodka launches at Selfridges

Element 29 is a new British artisan vodka which offers a refill packaging system in a move to be more environmentally responsible.

This spring Element 29 will arrive exclusively in Selfridges with a three-tier installation featuring all sizes of Element 29 Vodka and bottles for refill. There will also be a sustainability postcard to educate customers about the carbon cost of recycling versus refilling glass.

Refilling bottles provides a 100% saving on the carbon cost of producing new glass and the amount of energy saved by refilling one bottle could power a 100watt bulb for up to 11 hours.

Customers will be able to drop in with their empty bottles and have them refilled with the premium spirit Element 29 or Element 29 Dark Caramel and Sea Salt, a fashionable new blend with a sweet and savory character.

Element 29 is the second drinks project from chef and food and drinks writer, Mark Douglas Hill, creator of the Bloodshot Vodka. It has been created through combining both ancient and state of the art techniques and with the best of British natural resources.

The production of Element 29 begins in the fertile flatlands of East Anglia where the excellent winter wheat is harvested and used as the base for the vodka. It then travels north to Manchester where it is mashed, malted and fermented to a strong malt liquor. A state-of-the-art tower still then repeatedly distills it seven times until it attains absolute purity.

The final distillation (the 29th element after which the vodka is named) then takes place in Angela, an antique copper pot still dating from 1903 at the Langley distillery in the Black Country. The copper draws out the very essence of the grain, developing all the spirit’s natural sweetness and delicate nuances of flavour. The copper also scrubs it of any unsavoury sulphur compounds and other trace impurities, resulting in a vodka so clear and clean that it needs no further refining. It is finally cut to bottling strength with the soft, sweet spring water that flows through the Weald of Sussex, the ancient heart of England.

Element 29 claims to be the only vodka currently available on the market using this packaging system. The spirit is packed into ‘12 bottle refill reservoirs’ that are used to refill the distinctive frosted service bottles. This reduces packaging by 95%, cutting transported weight by 45% and transported volume by 63% and completely avoids the carbon costs of producing and recycling glass. This environmentally friendly initiative also makes Element 29 good value for money.

Available exclusively at Selfridges: RRP for Element Vodka £31.99, refill £22.99, RRP Salted Caramel Element 29 Vodka £35.99.

25 February 2013 - Felicity Murray