Fake alcohol seized by Lincolnshire Trading Standards, the police and HMRC is being put to good use by recycling it and making electricity.
Hundreds of bottles taken from shops across Lincolnshire have been recycled for better use in a trial that is also a first for the county’s Trading Standards team.
One tonne of counterfeit alcohol containing a potentially lethal mix of chemicals has been turned into enough electricity to power the average home for an hour.
The recycling was carried out by Waste Recycling and Destruction Ltd, which is based in Sheffield.
Officials say that while it’s not a huge amount of energy, the trial has shown how Lincolnshire and the country could benefit — something the criminals behind the alcohol probably never intended.
One tone of fake booze can generate one hour of green energy for a home
Emma Milligan, senior Trading Standards officer, says: “When criminals put illegal alcohol onto our streets, they never meant for it to be put to a good cause.
“But that’s exactly what’s happening thanks to this project. It’s fantastic to see these products used to benefit the environment and people, rather than harm them.
“Of course, we’d rather the fake alcohol wasn’t here at all and we continue to do all we can to tackle the problem.
“But all the time it continues to be available we stand ready to seize it and put it to better use,” Milligan added.
Other seized items including glass, cans and bags have also been recycled through the process, which aims to re-use 100% of the materials.