By now, all of us know that those sturdy plastic six-pack rings are harmful to marine life. They end up choking birds and turtles once they end up in the ocean, like the rest of earth’s trash. To counter this problem, a company was noble enough to create fully edible and biodegradable six-pack rings.
Source: Super HV
The rings were developed by Saltwater Brewery, a company based in Florida, and the ad agency We Believers. They are made out of “byproducts of the beer making process, which instead of killing animals, feeds them.”
The company used organic materials like barley and wheat, which is both edible and biodegradable. Don’t be fooled though as they’re still as tough as traditional plastic rings.
Source: Youtube, We Believers
“It’s a great, innovative product that has drawn a new demographic of people to awareness about the problem of plastics in the ocean,” comments Nick Mallos, director of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas program. “I can’t speak to the nutrition of barley to sea turtles, but it does seem a lot more benign if ingested than traditional six-pack plastics,” adds Mallos.
The downside to it is that it costs a little more to create them, as it’s a relatively new design. However, Peter Agardy, Delray Beach’s head of brands, says the price is well worth it. “It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fishermen, surfers and people that love the sea,” he says in their promotional video.
Saltwater Brewery was founded back in 2013, based on a “lifestyle that revolves around the ocean.” With their slogan “Explore the Depths of Beer,” Saltwater Brewery says that “Our goal is to maintain the world’s greatest wonder by giving back to the ocean through Ocean Based Charities (CCA, Surfrider, Ocean Foundation, MOTE).”
Mallos was very excited to see the new six-pack design spreading all over the internet. This helps in promoting awareness of the plastic that ends up in the ocean. This, however, is just a solution to a small part of a very big problem to our environment. “There’s no silver bullet to plastic debris in the ocean,” says Mallos. “We need a holistic approach, which includes minimizing waste, better waste management, and mitigation through cleanups and other solutions.”
Mallos is hopeful, however, that the whole edible plastic product concept could be explored. He hopes that it can be applied to other types of packaging in the future. This will help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean where it doesn’t belong.