October 16, 2018
Saving our oceans - Breweries have answer to plastic can holders
It's always great to hear that a company is taking its impact on the environment and sustainability seriously. Two breweries, one, Danish global brewing giant Carlsberg, and Delray Beach, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery are focusing on the plastic can holders used for lager and beer multipacks.
Not only are these plastic can holders a huge source of the plastic pollution on our streets and waterways, but it ends up in the oceans, becoming part of the five-trillion pieces of plastic
already suffocating marine life and threatening shorebirds. The two breweries may be separated by half the planet, but they are tackling the same problem - getting rid of the plastic net-like rings that yoke six-packs of canned beverages together. So let's look at the two technologies.
Saltwater Brewery's sustainable 6-pack holder Florida-based Saltwater Brewery, working with startup E6PR, short for "Eco Six Pack Rings," developed a compostable ring alternative that would biodegrade if it ended up in the oceans. Going along with E6PR's goal of finding a "sustainable way of handling cans," the project became a collaborative effort between New York ad agency We Believers, Mexican biodegradable supplier Entelequia, and private investors from the beverage packing industry. The really cool thing about the E6PR's is that they are completely biodegradable and compostable,
both on land and if left in a water system where the organic materials are said not to harm wildlife upon ingestion. This is because the can holders are made of barley and wheat ribbons used in the brewing process.
When disposed of properly, the E6PR ™ finds its way to a compostable facility, where it will degrade in days, and when, unfortunately, left out in open on land or in a water system, it will degrade in a matter of weeks. And because organic materials are used in production, the E6PR materials do not cause harm to wildlife if eaten. SaltWater says its 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. ...Packaging is done on-site with the brewery's in-house canning line, as well as their new in-line labeler for seasonal and special releases."