Plastic pollution is a big threat to marine life, and six-pack beer rings are a huge part of the problem. A craft brewery based in Florida has come up with an ingenious solution that could potentially influence big beer and soda companies and save the lives of millions of sea creatures—edible six-pack rings.
Saltwater Brewery has designed a 100% biodegradable replacement for six-pack rings that can be safely consumed by humans and sea creatures. The rings are made from barley and wheat remnants leftover from the brewing process. It’s just as durable and efficient as plastic, but costs a bit more to produce. Saltwater Brewery hopes people will be willing to a pay a little extra to protect marine wildlife from the hazards of plastic rings.
"It's a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea," explains Peter Agardy, Saltwater Brewery’s head of brand. The biodegradable rings could prevent horrible accidents like the ones pictured below from ever happening. It just needs widespread adoption.
Americans consume over 6 billion gallons of beer every year, 50% of which is drank from cans. The plastic on most of these cans ends up polluting the ocean, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If more breweries implemented the technology, the manufacturing cost would become competitive and drop, saving millions of lives in the process.