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A Florida-based craft brewery has developed a biodegradable and edible six–pack ring for its beers in order to protect marine life and birds, who often become entangled and trapped, or die after consuming traditional plastic ones.
Saltwater Brewery’s Edible Six-Pack Ring is tagged as “a six-pack ring that feeds animals instead of killing them” and is made from wheat and barley products leftover from the brewing process. It is 100% biodegradable, compostable, and edible – the first time, the craft brewery claims, such a product has come to market in the beer industry.
As eco-friendly products go, it looks like a winner: we’ve all seen harrowing pictures of marine life and birds caught in six-pack rings and hopefully we all do our best to dispose of the rings in a responsible way; however, many eventually end up in the ocean and as the video below points out, even if cut into small pieces they can still be ingested by marine life and birds. This 2015 study estimates that 90% of seabirds have ingested plastics at some point.
Though they cost more to manufacture than conventional plastic rings, with the cost being passed onto the consumer – a six-pack of 12oz (355 ml) cans of Screamin' Reels IPA costs $10.99 – these eco-friendly rings are just as strong, and Saltwater hopes costs will be driven down should the industry decide to adopt the technology en masse.
Over to you, beer-makers.