Leading Irish spirits maker, The Boatyard Distillery, which is based near Enniskillen, has developed highly innovative eco packaging for its range of successful beverages as part of its longstanding focus on preserving the environment.

Boatyard managing director Joe McGirr, who founded the distillery in 2013 – the first in Fermanagh since 1890 – has revealed that the company’s award-winning gins and vodka are now available in unique eco pouches for the first time in Ireland.

Fermanagh native Joe, an experienced industry professional, continues: “Both Boatyard double gin and Boatyard vodka are now available in 2.4L recyclable eco pouches, each equivalent to four 70cl bottles. The pouches reduce packaging by a massive 84%. This also reduces carbon emissions to 3.96kg from the equivalent 9.8kg when in bottle format.

“This means customers can retain the bottles – a heavy drain on energy to produce – and use the new recyclable pouches to refill them.”
More than 28 billion glass bottles and jars currently end up in landfill every year worldwide.

Joe’s commitment to – and respect for – the environment is based on his upbringing on a local family dairy farm, near Enniskillen.

“The distillery sits proudly on the banks of Lough Erne, a setting of true natural beauty which gives our operation an extra strong reminder, on a daily basis, of how important sustainability is.

“We play an important role in our local community, and we are committed to being carbon neutral by 2023 at the very latest. Our existing bottles are already made from extra flint recycled glass.

“The corks are both natural and unvarnished, made from wood sourced from ecologically and sustainably managed forests in Portugal. Our labels are also produced from recycled paper. Our existing wrapping is made from recyclable paper and our shipping cartons from recycled pulp,” he explains.

Some of the waste fruit from distillation is sent to be composted, the citrus juices are reused in drinks often being dropped off to local bartenders, and also used for chutney and some Boatyard marmalade. Waste is also used to feed cattle on the family farm.

Boatyard’s pioneering eco pouches are the latest sustainability initiative at the distillery, which is maturing and will soon introduce a single malt whiskey

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