Plastic waste plagues the world's oceans. There are no exact measurements on how much plastic waste there is in the ocean but the National Academy of Sciences estimated that around 14 billion pounds of garbage are added each year. Around 80% of this marine debris comes from urban runoff.
Your standard piece of plastic may take anywhere from 450 to 1000 years to biodegrade. Because of this, plastic enters the diets and ecosystems of marine life. Marine plastic has either injured or killed fish, seabirds, and various other marine mammals, impacting at least 267 species worldwide.
To help alleviate the constant plastic waste Saltwater Brewery and start-up E6PR are taking steps to create a product that preserves the environment.
The Eco Six-Pack Ring
Based in Southern Florida, in the United States, Saltwater Brewery is in the process of testing an eco-friendly version of the traditional plastic used to hold and package six-packs of beer. The Eco Six-Pack Ring was originally brought to life by E6PR, a design group looking to provide a sustainable way of handling cans.
When disposed of correctly, the Eco Six Pack Ring will degrade in a matter of days. However if for some reason the product is thrown out incorrectly and placed in on open land or in water, the product will degrade in a few weeks. Nevertheless, the lifespan of the Eco Six Pack Ring is far better than any other plastic ring on the market. Currently, the biodegradable product is made up of a combination of wheat and barley.
The partnership between the two companies falls in-line with both organizations aim to preserve and respect the environment, and if successful other similar partnerships could follow. As stated by Marco Vega founder of We Believers, a collaborative partner to E6PR, "For Big Beer, it’s really about making sure that we can not only produce the E6PRs, but also apply them at the speed that those lines require."
Saltwater Brewery is also excited about the partnership. Since the brewery's inception, the company has believed in the "Saltwater Lifestyle." Becuase of both their love and proximity to the ocean, the team wants to do anything they can to maintain the world's greatest wonder, the ocean. "This heartfelt attachment and a desire to maintain the world’s greatest wonder, is what drove us to pursue a way to give back while continuing to refine our taste for unique quality craft beers," says the team.
The growing green packaging market could help significantly lessen and eventually end plastic pollution.