Beverages and the beach go together like peanut butter and jelly, but conscientious beachgoers worry about the environmental impact of those plastic rings that hold six-packs together.
Over the years, environmentalists have warned of the dangers the rings pose to marine life that think the plastic is food.
Now, a Florida microbrewery is getting ready to use rings that, instead of potentially harming wildlife, will help feed marine creatures.
Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, Florida, plans to pack its canned Screamin’ Reels IPA in-house with edible six-pack rings. According to the company’s website and amazyble.com, the rings are created from beer by-products such as wheat and barley, and are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable.
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“We are in the process of finalizing the patents for the new material, but hope to deliver the product to the market within the next 6-12 months,” the company’s website says.
The wildlife-friendly rings came about through a partnership with We Believers ad agency and Saltwater Brewery.
According to the brewery’s website, “Saltwater’s goal is to maintain the world’s greatest wonder by giving back through Ocean Based Charities (CCA, Surfrider, Ocean Foundation, MOTE) and the Edible Six Pack Rings.”
“Anything that gets into the water that isn’t edible or biodegradable can be harmful to marine life,” said Melissa Scallan, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources public affairs director. “We support any product that will protect the fish and turtles that live in our waters. Something like this would complement programs like our monofilament recycling program and Coastal Cleanup, where we try to keep harmful products from getting into the water.”
Saltwater opened its doors in 2013. The company does not distribute into the Florida Panhandle. The concentration is in eastern, central and southern Florida.
Its distributor closest to the Mississippi Gulf Coast supplies to Baker, Duval, Nassau, Clay, St. Johns and Putnam counties in Florida.