A GIN producer is turning wasted alcohol into hand sanitiser to be used by care workers and struggling hospitality businesses.

Conker Spirit in Southbourne has made 100 bottles of its Community Spirit Hand Sanitiser.

Founder Rupert Holloway said: “As spirits are produced, there’s always the first part of the spirit that comes over the still which doesn’t go into the bottle.

“It’s the most volatile part of the alcohol. For a long time, we’ve been keeping that and not really had a use for it.”

The first bottles have been distributed to independent hospitality businesses.

“We thought, half our product goes into independent bars and shops and delis. They’re going to be in some very troubled waters in the next two to three months – as are we, if I’m honest,” said Mr Holloway.

“It felt like something we had to do. We’re sitting on this stuff and everybody was asking about it.”

The alcohol is mixed with the thickening agent xanthan gum to make a hand sanitiser that smells of juniper, Mr Holloway said.

He has already had a GP practice asking for the product and intends to get it to care workers.

“This stuff is needed for people who are in the care sector out and about in the community who can’t wash their hands,” he said.