Relish your beers without harming the ocean’s critters.
Current six-pack rings keep your cans of beer together, but are made of plastic, which tends to clog the oceans. The six-pack rings not only kill wildlife when the sea critters chew on them and eat them, but also kills sea animals by trapping and choking them. A new kind of six-pack holder can change all of that. Instead of petroleum, they’re made of wheat and barley, solving the problem, being both edible and biodegradable.
It’s safe for marine animals to chew on the rings. It’s designed to biodegrade at a rate that means that the rings won’t exist long enough to trap an animal.
Says Gustavo Lauria, co-founder of We Believers, creators of the animal-friendly rings, “If our six pack ring ends up in the ocean, in a matter of hours it starts breaking down, which also addresses the issue of animals getting stuck in them.”
Most so-called “biodegradable” plastic products don’t actually break down when in the ocean. On the beach, it could take up to 60 to 90 days for it to successfully biodegrade. If Lauria’s claims are true, it would mean progress.
Saltwater Brewery funded this project, as they were interested in ocean conservation. ‘We Believers’ was inspired because beer six-pack holders caused a large portion of the plastic that’s clogging the oceans. “We realized it was a unique opportunity to go beyond any kind of advertising campaign, and have a brand reflect its vision of the product itself,” says Lauria.
First experimenting with seaweed (which became too inflexible out of water), they decided upon working with byproducts of brewing—thereby minimizing waste, and leaving a smaller carbon footprint.
The designers hope that other breweries will follow this example, reducing the cost of this new plastic product. With dozens of breweries reaching out, ‘We Believers’ plans to commence more manufacturing this summer.