BY: JESSICA BEUKER
Last year, Americans alone drank 6.3 billion gallons of beer, with 50 per cent of that number sold in cans held together by plastic rings. Those plastic rings often end up in the ocean, where they kill, trap and disfigure the animals. But now, a new edible and biodegradable six-pack holder could solve this problem.
According to IFLScience, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine animals die each year because of the rings. While regulations require the rings to be photodegradable—breaking down into smaller pieces via sunlight after 60 to 120 days—it is still considered plastic, and the time frame is plenty long for an animal to get trapped in it, or to choke on a piece of it and die.
Saltwater Brewery in Florida has partnered with New York ad agency, We Believers to create the new rings. The first batch was manufactured using 3D printers, with the cost being somewhere between 10 and 15 cents per unit. According to EcoWatch, the company hopes to see prices drop once more companies jump on board.
Saltwater Brewery in Florida has partnered with New York ad agency, We Believers to create the new rings.
The first batch was manufactured using 3D printers.
The new rings are made from wheat and barley—both byproducts of the brewing process—so nothing goes to waste. This allows fish, turtles and other animals to safely eat the rings. The new rings break down so quickly in ocean water that they can’t last long enough to trap a turtle or bird, according to Fast Company. Out of the water, the rings break down in 60 to 90 days.
The company’s current plan is to produce 400,000 edible six-pack rings per month, which would be enough for the monthly production of Saltwater Brewery.
The new rings are made from wheat and barley, allowing fish, turtles and other animals to safely eat the rings.
Watch the video to learn more:
Image sourcing: pixabay.com, youtube.com