Drink Up | Eco-Friendly Six-Pack Rings Reinvent Beer Packaging

It may come as little surprise that 6.3 billion gallons of beer are consumed by Americans every year. As you’re forming your grocery lists for all the forthcoming summer weekends, we are betting that along with the grill-able favorites like steak and burgers, chips and potato salad, added to the cart will likely be a few (or more) packs of beer. Of the 6.3 billion gallons that are enjoyed, nearly half of that is canned. And there is a lot of room for improvement on the packaging of that beloved product.

Every year, one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals or sea turtles become entrapped in the 6-pack plastic rings that bring many of your favorite brews from the store to your refrigerator. While we should always take the .25 seconds it takes to cut apart those 6-pack rings, it turns out even that isn’t enough. The majority of the plastic that makes those carriers ends up in oceans, and entraps or is ingested by, animals and fish. 

Saltwater Brewery & We Believers partnered to make a difference. The Florida beer maker and do-gooder advertising firm worked with product development and manufacturing firm Entelequia to develop a 100% biodegradable, 100% edible (preferred by the fish, but could be consumed by you), which are just as strong as those made of plastic. Leftover materials from the brewing process, like barley and wheat, are used to construct the packaging which is also 100% compostable. 

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While Saltwater Brewery invites you to try their quality beer, and do so guilt-free by taking it home in their eco-friendly packaging, the call to action is bigger. If more beer producers were nicely asked, pushed, demanded to use the biodegradable alternative to the deadly 6-pack plastic rings, the cost of production would go way down, and these fish-friendly beer holders could become the standard. 

Even if you don’t live near an ocean or waterway, the reality is that discarded plastic doesn’t stay nicely in the heavy duty garbage bag in your kitchen to the landfill. Once it’s there, those garbage bags break down, and the contents of the trash sits, rots, and decomposes. Considering that the average time it takes a plastic bottle to degrade is 450 years…that’s a lot of time hanging on our Earth. Biodegradable plastic, integrated even in the smallest places in our lives, stands to make a huge difference in our world. And not just for Nemo.