Edible Six-Pack Holders Feed Marine Life if They End Up in the OceanNewsroom
Most plastic beer six‐pack rings end up in our oceans and pose a serious threat to wildlife. A craft beer company has brewed up a brilliant idea to change this.
When you’re cracking open a cold can of beer, the last thing you want to think about is that plastic six-pack holder it came in ending up around a seagull’s neck or in a turtle’s stomach. So, one Florida-based craft beer brewery has come up with an ingenious solution.
Saltwater Brewery is rolling out fully edible six-pack rings for their Screamin’ Reels IPA, with the help of advertising agency We Believers. The holders are made out of a pulp from byproducts of the brewing process, such as wheat and barley, and are completely safe for humans and animals to eat. Not only does this make them totally biodegradable and compostable, but they’re also just as strong as their plastic counterparts. The only drawback is that edible six-pack rings are more expensive to produce. But the company hopes that customers will be willing to pay a little more in order to help the environment and animal life.
“It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea,” Peter Agardy, head of brand at Saltwater Brewery, said in the below video.
So far, the company has created a few hundred of the holders. However, they hope to up their production to cater for 400,000 six-pack rings every month, Gustavo Lauria, CCO and founder of We Believer, told Creativity-Online. More than that, the company has high hopes that the larger breweries and drinks companies could also follow suit and develop their own edible six-pack ring holders.
In many states, conventional six-pack rings now have to be made 100 percent photodegradable under federal law. Although this may have somewhat eased the problem for marine life, an estimated 1 million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles still die from the six-pack holders a year, after being entrapped or swallowing them.
According to a report published in the journal PNAS, researchers have found that about 90 percent of seabirds have eaten plastic and are likely to retain some in their gut. They also are “virtually certain” that by 2050, any seabird found dead will have plastic in their stomach.
Nevertheless, with the world’s oceans becoming progressively more and more clogged with plastics, seeking inventive solutions to consumable packaging is always a welcoming idea.
The Ocean Conservancy’s 2015 Ocean Trash Index — which enlisted 561,895 volunteers to pick up 16,186,759 pounds of garbage — also offers a few staggering facts. It cites plastic as among the most common trash item ingested by sea turtles in 2015. Volunteers found 57 marine mammals, 440 fish and 22 sharks, skates and sting rays entangled in plastic. The index also explains that littering isn’t the sole culprit for plastic in the ocean. Plastic can also be blown by the wind from a trashcan or dump, end up in a storm drain and then travel through pipes into the ocean.
Facts like these makes a concept like edible six-pack rings seem vital.
“We hope to influence the big guys,” Chris Goves, Saltwater Brewery’s president, said. “And hopefully inspire them to get on board,”
WATCH the video here.