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Scottish gin distiller trialling refillable aluminium bottles

Scotland's Isle of Harris Distillery has launched a refill project for its flagship gin amid growing demand from customers for a scheme to let them hold on to their bottles.

Through the distillery's Refill Project, customers who sign up for a year's subscription will get a 500ml aluminium refill bottle delivered to their door each month to top up their Isle of Harris Gin bottle.

Subscribers will also be sent Isle of Harris photographic postcards to keep and collect, exclusive offers from independent retail partners on the Hebridean island, and a monthly Harris eco e-newsletter sent to their inbox.

Simon Erlanger, managing director of the Isle of Harris Distillery, said: "We've been looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint without losing the pleasure of pouring from our lovely gin bottle. We learnt that aluminium can be the most recyclable of materials and so this new subscription service looks like a great solution."

The distillery team researched a number of options for the refill bottle before settling on aluminium, which is one of the most recycable packaging materials on the market - some 75 per cent of aluminium ever produced is still in circulation, compared to around nine per cent of plastics.

The bottles are sent wrapped in FSC-certified tissue paper printed with eco-friendly, low-VOC soy inks and are delivered in Jiffy Green bags, which are lined with cushioning paper fibres and are fully biodegradable.

The new refill bottle will initially only be available through the annual subscription service (priced £345.50 for 12 months).

2 July 2021 - Bethany Whymark