Australia's largest brewer has announced it will donate 20,000 litres of hand sanitiser to frontline medical staff as they fight COVID-19 in emergency wards around the country.
Belgian-owned, Melbourne-based Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) is producing at least 40,000 500ml bottles of hand sanitiser in partnership with leading hygiene company Ecolab.
"CUB always supports the community. And as the nation's biggest brewer, we have a part to play in battling this unprecedented crisis. Helping the people who are directly fighting the effects of this virus is a good start," says CUB CEO Peter Filipovic.
"We have the relationships and the know-how to get a project like this up and running quickly.
"For more than 150 years we've helped Australians come together over a beer. Now it's time to lend a helping hand as they stay apart to fight the virus. We'll have more announcements soon about how we're helping pubs and other customers get through this."
The company clarifies all the hand sanitiser it produces will be donated, while it will also be offered to vulnerable people in the community via support agencies, bottle shops, pubs, clubs and through its suppliers.
This will account for another 10,000 litres, bringing total production to 30,000 litres.
Ecolab will make the sanitiser using additional ethanol secured with support from CUB, ensuring thousands of litres of sanitiser gets to where it's needed most.
"We are very happy to be partnering with CUB and ensuring hand sanitiser gets to those who need it most," says Jan Pacas, Ecolab's managing director for Australia, NZ and the Pacific.
"This partnership has provided a big boost to our hand sanitiser production in a time when it's been crucially needed especially for our healthcare providers who are on the frontline."
The first bottles are expected to start leaving Ecolab's facilities this week.
Updated at 12:04pm AEDT on 30 March 2020.
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