The plastic rings that hold six-packs may soon be a thing of the past. These plastic ring holders are a major source of pollution in the ocean, and there are many heartwrenching images of sea turtles and other sea life caught in the rings. Any sea creatures that consume the plastic can die or be seriously injured. A brewery in Florida is aiming to change that.
Seawater Brewery, a craft microbrewery in Delray Beach, recently created a way to prevent this plastic from being in the ocean at all. They developed a six-pack holder that is biodegradable or edible for sea life. The company developed these environmentally friendly rings with the help of startup E6PR, and the rings are made up of wheat an barley instead of plastics.
The rings are being sold locally in South Florida stores, and the companies are hoping that the interest in the rings and their environmental impact. Apparently, the manufacturing process for making these environmentally safer rings was rather expensive, so the companies are also hoping that other breweries across the country will also purchase the rings, which will help bring the cost of making them down.
The new rings will also be compostable if they are disposed of properly. Right now, the new rings are available in stores like Publix, Total Wine, Whole Foods, Lucky’s, and ABC Liquors. Buyers can find them attached to Saltwater Brewery’s “Screamin’ Reels IPA.”
Over five million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, according to research conducted by the University of Lousiana, and a large majority ends up in the Gulf of Mexico after flowing through the populated cities that exist on the Mississippi River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. These rings are one of several recent startup projects aimed to help clean up the oceans, and the first to be attached to beer, which is a major industry in the United States.