Efforts from two entrepreneurs have paid off, with a seaweed based hand sanitiser now available for purchase by members of the public after first successfully being produced for healthcare professionals to use.
Guernsey Seaweed and the Channel Islands Liquor Company have managed to keep up with demand from frontline essential workers during the covid-19 pandemic and now their product is available for wider use too.
The 'Channel Islands Seaweed Sanitiser' is being produced in Guernsey by the two firms, which have been working together on the innovative product at the Bella Luce Hotel - where the Channel Islands Liquor Company already make Wheadon's Gin and Rum.
Now Ben Tustin and Luke Wheadon have been able to guarantee the 70% alcohol-based hand sanitiser was available to staff within health settings and other essential workers, to ensure the people who most needed the product received it first, it is also being put on general sale.
The product is available from the St John Healthcare shop by delivery only via email orders sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available from Guernsey Weigh in the town Market.
Mr Tustin said the pair are both very proud of what they have achieved so far.
"Both Luke and I are really pleased that we have achieved what we set out to do which was to provide a good quality hand sanitiser to all those that need it.
"The feedback on the moisturising quality is particularly gratifying as we have worked hard to make it as naturally nourishing as possible.
"It is now available through St John or Guernsey Weigh which is great and we are continuing to produce the product so hopefully nobody will run out."
Pictured: The St John Healthcare Shop on the Rohais.
When the product was launched last month Stuart Place, Chairman of St John Ambulance Guernsey said: “The demand for hand sanitiser has been huge since the start of the corona virus pandemic. The St John HealthCare Shop has been selling out of hand gel sourced from the UK as soon as it arrives in the shop. We are delighted to be working alongside Guernsey Seaweed and the Guernsey Liquor Company to support local enterprise and our wider community at a time of need.”
The hand gel uses a type of seaweed that is found in cosmetic products and is known for its moisturising properties. This type of seaweed is widely available locally from sustainable sources. The seaweed is mixed with 70% alcohol to create the product.
There has been a massive international demand for hand sanitiser, with a national shortage of products in the UK and sales in USA up more than 400%. The price and availability of raw ingredients has also soured due to the high demand.
The cost of the Channel Islands Seaweed Hand Sanitiser is £20 a litre, which reflects the rising costs of the raw ingredients and the fact that it is an innovative product created by a local independent producer on a small scale.
A small profit from the product will support the other community work of St John Ambulance Guernsey.
Pictured: The producers of the seaweed sanitiser have gifted bottles to healthcare workers at the PEH.
Mr Tustin and Mr Wheadon have been working on their product for some weeks to ensure supplies to meet demand.
They've also gifted numerous bottles to healthcare workers who are on the front line against covid-19.
Last week the pair visited staff at the Emergency Department at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital to hand over supplies.
Pictured top: The new hand sanitiser and (inset) Ben Tustin and Luke Wheadon who have made it.