It is estimated that an incredible 250,000 disused whisky casks are in circulation each year.
No longer useful in the whisky making process, the opportunity to think differently about how to maximise the value of these end of life oak whisky barrels was something we couldn’t pass on.
Supported by Zero Waste Scotland, we have begun the process of preventing countless tonnes of CO2 from entering our atmosphere. By repurposing just 20 casks we could prevent approximately one tonne of CO2 from entering our atmosphere. Imagine what we could save with processing some of those 250,000 each year.
RE-CASK is Glasgow Wood Recycling’s latest research and development strand which investigates innovative new products and processes for these oak barrels. As we aim for a more circular economy, these processing techniques are our way of moving closer towards that goal. The objective is to incorporate several of these products and processes into the GWR portfolio, and continue to explore options for these wonderful oak staves.
The project officially began back in August with Katie Falco working on product development, and John Kingston working on fabrication and innovation. Following an in–depth study into the feasibility of the barrels, Glasgow Wood Recycling saw an amazing opportunity in the market to create something more from these casks. However, RE-CASK is not the first time either of them have worked with reclaimed whisky barrels. Back in 2018, Glasgow Wood Recycling were approached by Chivas Regal to upgrade their reception space utilising whisky barrels. It was this project which set the foundations and sparked ideas for where else these staves could be applied.
Utilising all this invaluable knowledge and understanding, Katie and John embarked on a dismantling the casks and began working on how they could reconfigure the now oak staves into something more useful. Beginning with a small range of cladding and panels, they continued to develop the range further, into outdoor play equipment, a range of screens and fencing and an outdoor bench commissioned by Sustrans which has recently been installed. Creating innovative processing and categorisation techniques along the way, the team have also been in touch with wood workers in the USA, and also over in Edinburgh at Edinburgh Napier to hopefully discover other applications, processing methods and possible collaborations.
Lucy Watkins joined recently in early October to work on designing the sub-brand for GWR and to identify individuals and companies who would be interested in these products. As a way to meet legal requirements and reduce carbon footprints, to bring unique character to gardens, bars and outdoor spaces, or for those simply looking for climate conscious options, our goal is to provide sustainable solutions to those looking for them. The precarious times we live in mean we need to be highly adaptable and versatile.
At present we have a very unique range of screens and fencing, which besides being used as an alternative to standard fencing, could also become outdoor partitions for events, markets and bars featuring castors to allow for easy manoeuvrability, or be taken into office or home settings and be used to partition off work spaces. We also have a range of outdoor play equipment, cladding and several pieces of bespoke outdoor furniture, and we are now investigating interior accessories and furniture.
But without feedback we can’t begin the process of making these products even better. Which is why we are now asking you, our wonderful customer base, to enquire about our RE-CASK products and begin to put this wonderful material back into circulation.
If you know of any companies or individuals who may be interested in these products we’d also love for you to pass this information on. At present we have a catalogue for our Fencing, Screens and Partitions which can be found here, with more catalogues to come for our other ranges.
We also know a great deal of you have been coming to buy staves for your own creations. Tag your projects on social media using the hashtag #recask.
We’d love to see them!