We’ve all seen those awful pictures of seagulls, turtles, and fish caught in the plastic rings that package beer and soda.

But now several beer manufacturers are looking to biodegradable six-pack rings to prevent such gruesome wildlife deaths.

Pioneered by Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, Florida, the new packaging is made out of barley and wheat that can actually be eaten by fish, turtles, and whatever other animal finds it.

Peter Agardy, Head of Brand at Saltwater Brewery, said, “It’s a big investment for a small brewery created by fishermen, surfers and people that love the sea.”

We hope to influence the big guys and hopefully inspire them to get on board,” added brewery President Chris Gove.

Well it turns out that the “big guys” may finally be catching on.

Recently, beer giant Corona announced that they are experimenting with trials of the revolutionary plastic-free packaging, specifically in Mexico first and then in the United Kingdom later this year.

According to Business Wire:

Although Corona is primarily packaged in glass and fiberboard, the brand sees an opportunity to help redesign a common source of plastic in the category: six pack rings. The plastic-free rings being tested are made from plant-based biodegradable fibers, with a mix of by-product waste and compostable materials. If left in the environment, they break down into organic material that is not harmful to wildlife, whereas the industry standard plastic six pack rings are made from a photodegradable form of polyethylene that results in increasingly smaller pieces of plastic if not recycled.

What remains to be seen is whether the new six-packs are cost-effective and withstand stress during deliveries. If Corona finds success, it may encourage other large beer or soda producers to follow suit.

So, the next time your spouse gets on your case for drinking too much beer, just say “Hey, I’m saving the turtles!”

We’re not responsible for whatever gets thrown at you after you say that.

Author

  • Adam Houser coordinates student leaders for CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.