The bottling hall, offices, warehouses and production were empty at the distillery today, as our massed Islay team, with reinforcements from the Glasgow office, turned out for our anual Beach Clean.
From Blackrock, through Uiskentuie, and along the shoreline of Lochindaal, small groups of litter-pickers spread out with pincers and bags to look for anything non-natural that shouldn’t have been there.
According to local charity, Rejig, who provide the recycling services on the islands, Islay landfill tax in 2015 was £171,000 and is set to rise this year. Rejig – standing for Recycling Islay Jura Group – has been operating since 1999, and regularly leads such beach cleans in order to both improve the local environment and raise money for local causes.
Over a barbecue back at the Academy House garden, in the customary downpour of an Islay summer, Chloe Wood Bruichladdich Academy host said, ‘At first sight, the beach didn’t look that dirty, but did you see how many bags we lifted off it?’ Mary McGregor, Laddieshop Manager, remarked, ‘Next time we drive past The Strand we’ve got something to be proud of.’