Saltwater Brewery Develops Eco-Friendly 'Edible Six-Pack Rings'
One of the most common threats to marine life these days does not come in the form of a marine predator, but rather man-made pollution. Nylon filament used in fishing and plastic six-pack rings are two of the biggest culprits. These two things are responsible for the death and mutilation of countless wildlife. Sadly, they are either tangled in them or choke on them, but either way they usually die a slow, horrible death due to their exposure to or contact with them. Taking this into account, Saltwater Brewery of Delray Beach, FL, has decided to try something innovative with its six packs.
Edible Six-Pack Rings
In the hopes of saving sea life and reducing the amount of plastic flotsam and jetsam floating around in the world’s oceans, Saltwater Brewery has embarked on a design and development journey to create six-pack rings that are not only biodegradable but edible. Now, if you’re thinking why on earth would anyone want to eat the rings holding their beverage cans together other than maybe seriously hungry drunks, we, as people, wouldn’t be doing the eating. Since they are so frequently discarded as if someone’s mother were following the perpetrators around to pick up their garbage, it’s the aquatic life that would be consuming them. And, no, this isn’t a plan to feed the hungry of the animal kingdom, either.
Marco Vega and Gustavo Lauria, co-founders of the ad agency We Believers, teamed up with Saltwater Brewery after being inspired to try and make a difference through the reduction of disposable plastic waste. Their original thought was in using dried seaweed, but they wanted to use something that was readily available with complete sustainability. That’s where Chris Gove, president and co-founder of Saltwater Brewery, fits in. Beyond his interest in the project, he’s already got the source material for it, and it’s nearly infinite in its production. So, what is it? Wheat and barley residue left over from the brewing process.
Saltwater Brewery Prototypes
Within two months of this brainstorm the two groups had already produced 500 working prototypes with the help of a 3-D printer. This prompted the production of a follow-up video they soon published showing off their eco-friendly creations. It has quickly caught on around the Internet with views in the tens of millions so far. Besides saving animals, this project takes the onus off of consumers — who can’t be trusted half the time to do the right thing, anyways — for proper disposal of the six-pack rings. It’s like cutting out the middleman and hoping he doesn’t come under the mistaken impression he can treat everything this way.
Whether these six-pack rings end up in landfills, oceans or on the street, because they’re biodegradable and basically food waste, they’ll simply break down and decompose much faster than other sources of trash. Currently, Saltwater Brewery is the only company using these new rings, but that is expected to change soon. By 2017, they’re hoping to join forces with other small outfits such as their self and expand the new technology. Made solely from the remnants of the brewing process, other microbreweries could easily follow suit and hopefully the big dogs in the adult beverage game won’t be far behind.