You know those plastic rings that hold six-packs? They’re pretty much the worst thing imaginable in terms of plastic waste. Marine birds get caught up in these plastic rings and drown because they can’t fly. Young sea turtles get caught in the rings and then as they grow larger the rings warp the turtle’s shells into something grotesque (the turtles die). This isn’t something you only see on the news, I’ve legitimately seen sea turtles with plastic stuck on their fins in the Gulf of Mexico and I’ve seen dead seagulls wrapped up in plastic nets on the beach.
What can be done to stop this from happening? That’s been the question for a long ass time. Asking people to cut up the plastic rings hasn’t worked (obviously), but the Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, Florida thinks they’ve come up with a solution.
Saltwater Brewery worked with startup E6PR to create non-plastic, biodegradable, and edible rings for six-packs. These rings are made from a mixture of wheat and barley and can even be eaten by sea turtles and other marine creatures if they make their way to the ocean. These six packs are already being sold in stores throughout Florida like Publix and Total Wine.
The manufacturing and development of these biodegradable and edible six-pack rings were very expensive. Now, E6PR and Saltwater Brewery hope other breweries will adopt their technology and start selling these rings to offset the costs. According to NOLA.com, E6PR is testing out their new wheat and barley six-pack rings with a select group of breweries but hopes to roll them out to many more.