The majority of people are aware of how serious the issue of plastic waste is, due to huge volumes of it ending up in the ocean caused by a lack of proper recycling, which seriously affects the survival of marine life.
From recent images of the sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck in its nose, to countless images of fish with pieces of plastic stuck around their necks, plastic in the oceans is a real problem that requires serious intervention.
A brewery that was started by surfers, fishermen, and other lovers of the ocean recognised that an excessive amount of plastic in the sea is a huge problem, particularly with the plastic that comes from plastic can rings that package canned drinks. This plastic is particularly harmful to sea life, as not only do some fish eat it after mistaking it for food, meaning that they later die from the plastic in their stomachs, but many small sea creatures and birds can get stuck inside the individual rings, restricting their movement and crushing their bodies.
Therefore, Seawater Brewery came up with an innovative concept for their six-pack beer ring holders, by making them out of an entirely new material which does the same job, but is completely biodegradable as well as food for the sea creatures.
The material is made from barley and wheat remnants from the brewing process, which would otherwise not be utilised. The material is 100% safe for fish, turtles, birds and other marine life.
Marine biologist Mark Tokulka described the extent of the current plastic ring-holder problem. He said, each year “an estimated one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles become entrapped in plastic or ingest it and die.”
Americans currently consume more than six billion gallons of beer each year, and half of this consumption is from canned beer. The majority of the plastic from the six-pack beers ends up in the ocean, where globally one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles get trapped in the plastic, or ingest it and die.
In contrary to previous beliefs, cutting up the rings to make them individual circles before disposing of them is not enough to save the lives of millions of sea animals, due to many birds and turtles still eating the harmful plastic.
Even though the new can rings are entirely edible for sea life, they are still just as strong and stable, enabling them to do their initial job of supporting the weight of beer cans when being carried by consumers.
Despite the increased price of the beers with the new ring holder, due to the materials and processes used to produce it, Seawater Brewery hopes that many other craft breweries and large beer companies will follow suit, meaning that the manufacturing prices would drop considerably, producing competitive prices across all beer brands.
It was recently revealed that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. With statistics as shocking as these, the new edible six pack rings innovation is definitely a step in the right direction to eliminate those statistics.
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