This Eco-Friendly Edible Six-Pack Ring Turns Into Turtle Food

The rings are crafted from the same ingredients used in the beer brewing process: malt, barley, and wheat.

Nov 28, 2018

(Saltwater Brewery)

Saltwater brewery, a South Florida microbrewery was always about more than just beer. Now, they have created and are using edible six-pack rings that help marine wildlife, especially sea turtles.

Founded in 2013 by fisherman, surfers, boaters, and people that love the sea, Saltwater Brewery has always backed ocean-based charities. This love of the oceans is the reason behind the company’s name.

Dustin Jeffers, the head of operations, told the Fort Lauderdale Daily in an article about companies that are making a positive impact on the environment that the brewery originally worked with three charities: Coastal Conservation Association, Surfrider Foundation, and Ocean Foundation, but as people found out that this was their mission, they began to expand and work with more organizations and charities.

The company is mainly concerned with the issue of plastics in the ocean. According to the Ocean Conservancy, 8 million tons of plastics enter the oceans every year on top of the 150 million tons that are currently in our marine environments. All of this is harmful to marine plants and wildlife.

One of the worst plastics in our oceans and waterways are plastic six-pack rings. The plastic rings have been naturally degradable since the 1980s but they take weeks to break down and can still injure animals that are caught in or ingest them. That is why the brewery decided from the beginning to create eco-friendly packaging.

The innovative six-pack rings they created are made entirely biodegradable and edible. The rings are crafted from the same ingredients used in the beer brewing process: malt, barley and wheat and are constructed from the by-products of the brewing process. They can safely be eaten by marine life.

The material is as strong and durable as the traditional plastic rings with the only drawback being its price. "It’s a big investment for a small brewery," noted Peter Agardy, the head of brand at Saltwater Brewery. But their customers are willing to pay the additional price.

If large companies would get on board and develop this innovative eco-friendly technology, it would make it cheaper to produce. If the edible six-pack rings were price competitive with the plastic ones, the industry would become more environmentally friendly and that would save hundreds of thousands of marine lives and make the oceans cleaner.

That's exactly what Saltwater Brewery’s mission is about.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.