Florida Brewery Is Working To Eliminate Plastic In The Ocean One Six-Pack At A Time

Millions of tons of plastic wind up in the ocean each year.

A South Florida brewery is working to protect marine life one six-pack at a time with the launch of an environmentally friendly version of the plastic rings typically used to hold together canned beverages. Created in collaboration with E6PR, Saltwater Brewery's six-pack rings are made from wheat and barley — making them both biodegradable and safe for animal consumption. The groups behind the innovation hope that it will help curb the estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic that wind up in the ocean each year. 

Startup E6PR, which stands for Eco Six Pack Ring, first made headlines in 2016 with the announcement of its partnership with Saltwater Brewery. The team then worked to develop and test the plastic ring alternative before launching them in stories in South Florida, according to the Times-Picayune. Per CBS News, the effort is part of a collaboration between ad agency We Believers, Mexican biodegradable supplier Entelequia, and private investors.

"The best way I can describe it is having your child eat a Sour Patch Kid rather than a Lego," Chris Gove, Saltwater Brewery president told Mashable. "It's not a part of their diet, but it is something that is better than alternative, so that's something to keep in mind."

According to research by Louisiana State University, the Gulf of Mexico has one of the highest concentrations of plastic in the world. National Geographic estimates that 91 percent of plastic goes unrecycled. The E6PR team and Saltwater Brewery hope that, now that the eco-six pack has launched in stores, more breweries will pledge to ditch the plastic rings. 

"The E6PR is just the beginning of what should become a movement to rid the packaging industry of plastic," the company's website reads.

Cover image via Shutterstock /  Michael Smith ITWP

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