The World’s First Six-Pack Ring That Fish Can Eat
Plastic six-pack rings kill more than a million birds and marine animals every year. Now they’ve been given an upgrade and could help feed marine life instead.
The world’s first edible can rings are mainly made from wheat and barley, by-products of the beer-making process. (A beverage they so often hold.)
The innovative product is biodegradable and can be eaten by animals like turtles and fish who often die as a result of ingesting plastic. It is estimated that 80 percent of sea turtles and roughly 70 percent of seabirds are ingesting plastic, which clogs their digestive systems. As a result, some one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year due to plastic-related incidents.
Saltwater Brewery, a craft beer brand founded in 2013 and based in Delray Beach, Florida, are hoping their edible six-pack rings will help reduce the threat to wildlife posed by plastic rings, as well as minimize pollution to the world’s oceans:
“Beer liquid maintains its quality much better inside a can since light does not spoil it and it also provides an airtight container that is oxygen free to preserve its flavor. The problem with cans is they come together with plastic six-pack rings. For a long time, it was one of the best packaging design solutions. It is lightweight, resistant and easy to carry but most of these plastic six-pack rings end up in our oceans and pose a serious threat to wildlife.
“The Edible Six Pack Rings are the first ever 100 percent biodegradable, compostable and edible packaging implemented in the beer industry. After months of design rounds, we’ve found the edible six-pack rings are as resistant and efficient as the current plastic six-pack ring option.”
Saltwater Brewery is optimistic other companies will adopt this approach: “If most craft brewers and big beer companies implement this technology, the manufacturing cost will drop and be very competitive compared with the current plastic solution.”