If you’ve ever bought a six-pack beer, you know that sometimes they are sold either in a cardboard box or with a six-pack ring that holds the beer together. The latter method has been criticized for harming the environment and ocean life as sometimes fishes and turtles get caught in them and die as a result of it.
Of course ensuring that you throw them away properly is one way to prevent that, but the fact that they are also made of plastic means that breaking it down would be harder than say recycling a cardboard box. However the Saltwater Brewery in Florida has come up with a clever idea that will keep the classic six-pack ring design alive, but also keeping the ocean (and nature) safe in the process.
This is done by creating rings that are biodegradable as well as edible. The rings are made by brewing byproducts such as grains. This means that should they be tossed into the ocean or onto the ground, they will eventually decompose, or alternatively they can be eaten by animals. Even if a fish or turtle gets caught, the fact that it will decompose means that they will eventually get free once the rings has broken down enough.
The Saltwater Brewery has begun to scale up their usage in their products and hopefully more brewery companies in the future will adopt their design, or maybe even improve upon it.