Low-alcohol Scottish gin is first to come in a recyclable paper bottle, helping the planet and hangovers

A hand-crafted Scottish gin made in a seaside town on the east coast has become the world’s first botanical spirit to be sold in eco-friendly paper bottles.

The newest offering from the award-winning NB Distillery comes in a fully recyclable container, making it kinder to the environment than traditional glass bottles.

Aptly named School Night, it has half the alcoholic strength of the brand's original gin, so it is also gentler on the head.

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NB Distillery was set up by Vivienne and Steve Muir using a pressure cooker and old central heating pipes in the kitchen of their North Berwick home.

NB Distillery's Steve Ross, head of production, and Rhona Hartley, head of corporate sales and retail, with 'Dolly' the dispenser that will be used to refill customers gin bottles in an eco-friendly initiative for the spirit firm
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The business has expanded rapidly and is now based at a custom-built, low-carbon premises in the East Lothian town.

As well as gins, the company also produces a range of rums and vodkas.

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The green bottles, produced by UK-based sustainable packaging firm Frugalpac, are made from 94 per cent recycled paperboard and lined with a special food-grade plastic pouch.

They can be disposed off along with other paper for recycling, with the inner sleeve easily separated at waste facilities.

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School Night, a low-alcohol boutique gin made in North Berwick, is the world's first botanical spirit to be sold in a fully recyclable paper bottle
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The Frugal bottles are also much lighter than their glass equivalents – around a fifth of the weight – meaning a lower carbon footprint for distribution.

This low-alcohol spirit contains 21 per cent alcohol by volume, half the amount in NB’s award-winning World’s Best London Dry Gin, but the producers insist flavour has not been compromised.

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“It tastes every bit as delicious,” said NB Distillery co-founder Vivienne Muir.

“But just as important as being low-alcohol, School Night is low-carbon.

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“The Frugal Bottle we use has a carbon footprint six times lower than a glass bottle.

“That’s important to us as we are a sustainable distillery.

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“We have solar panels on our roof, we collect rainwater to use in our condensers and operate a refill scheme, but we wanted to go beyond this to make our bottles sustainable too.

“That’s why we chose the Frugal bottle. Not only is it using 94 per cent recycled paperboard, which means 84 per cent less carbon than a normal glass bottle, but its branding possibilities make it very desirable.

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“It is the perfect bottle for School Night. You'll definitely get an A+ from Mother Nature if you buy one.”

Malcolm Waugh, chief executive of Frugalpac, said: “We’re delighted that NB Distillery has launched the world’s first low-alcohol and low-carbon botanical spirit with our Frugal bottle.

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“Scotland has proved to be a real pioneer for sustainability in drinks packaging and the Scottish public seem to have found it very appealing.

“When we launched the first wine, by Cantina Goccia, in a Frugal bottle in Scotland last year, it proved to be so popular it completely sold out its run of bottles twice – with the Woodwinters wine chain in Scotland selling its whole stock in all its shops in just one day.”

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He added: “Frugalpac has received enquiries from around the world to make 70 million Frugal bottles, including sake and wine bottles for Japan. And we’re thrilled NB Distillery has joined the paper bottle revolution.”

School Night will be on shelves from May 31.

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