Unusual solution to schools' hand sanitiser shortages

Alcohol companies switching production to hand sanitiser as schools and other public services complain of shortages

Tes Reporter

Coronavirus: An unusual solution has been found to schools' hand sanitiser shortages

Distillers and brewers are switching production from gin and beer to hand sanitiser, amid concerns that schools are running short in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Deeside Distillery in Scotland has announced that it is making hand sanitiser to give to local schools and food banks.

In a statement, the distillery said: "We have been completely overwhelmed by the number of organisations that have contacted us regarding shortages of hand sanitiser.

Coronavirus: Teachers make appeal over soap shortage

A head's view: The impossibility of planning for coronavirus in school

Teacher wellbeing: 4 ways schools can make you ill

"We are doing what we can to ensure that the frontline and primary care providers have stocks, including nurseries, schools, care homes and medical centres."

Coronavirus panic-buying

Beer company BrewDog has announced that it will now be making hand sanitiser at its distillery in Scotland.

The brewery said on Instagram that it wanted to "try and help as many people as possible stay safe" during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Outside the UK, alcohol companies including Absolut are turning their hands to sanitiser, with Paula Eriksson of the Absolut Company in Stockholm saying she was "happy to help".

Luxury goods group LVMH announced on Sunday that it would be producing hand sanitiser in its French perfume factories, to be donated to hospitals.

Panic-buying of items including hand sanitiser has resulted in stocks selling out across the UK, with pharmacies such as Boots limiting supply to two items per customer.

It was announced this afternoon that Scottish schools will close from the end of the week, although they may still operate for certain groups of pupils, with details due to be announced by education secretary John Swinney tomorrow.

It also emerged today that Scotland's largest manufacturer of hand sanitiser has said the price of the alcohol it needs to make the product has increased seven-fold since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

Economy secretary Fiona Hyslop condemned the "absolutely inexcusable" behaviour after Kenneth Gibson, the MSP for Cunninghame North, raised the issue at Holyrood.

His constituency includes the TR Bonnyman Son and Company in Beith.

Mr Gibson told MSPs: "A crisis brings out the best in some people and the worst in others.

"In my constituency, Scotland's largest producer of alcohol sanitising gel, TR Bonnyman Son, has seen the price of alcohol supplied to it rocket from £500 to £3,500 a tonne."

He asked Ms Hyslop what steps are being taken to "tackle individuals and companies allegedly profiteering from the impact of Covid-19".

Ms Hyslop said: "There are people who want to exploit people and companies in very, very difficult circumstances."

She praised companies such as distilleries, which have started making hand sanitiser instead of their regular products, describing that as being a "good example of businesses responding positively" to the coronavirus crisis.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Tes Reporter

Latest stories

Woman, squeezed into cardboard box

Why I can't stand set lesson plans

Any one-size-fits-all structure imposed on classroom teachers risks removing the joy from learning, says Megan Mansworth
Megan Mansworth 17 May 2021