Down in Florida, the Saltwater Brewery has come up with a seemingly no-brainer solution to one of the more distressing environmental issues of the day—plastics in the ocean. Marine animals, including birds, are killed every year by plastics, either suffocating by getting caught in them or by ingesting smaller plastics. Saltwater Brewery’s idea is to turn their classic six-pack packaging into something edible, so if it finds its way into the ocean, it will not only be safe for the life down there, it will be mildly healthy.
Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, Fla., recently released edible six-pack rings, a brand-new approach to sustainable beer packaging. These six-pack rings are 100 percent biodegradable and edible—constructed of barley and wheat ribbons from the brewing process, this packaging can actually be safely eaten by animals that may come into contact with the refuse.
Besides being biodegradable and edible, this innovative technology is still as resistant and efficient as the plastic packaging it replaces. It is, understandably, more expensive to produce, but many customers are willing to pay the difference knowing that it’s better for the environment and animal life. However, if more breweries would implement this technology, the production cost would lower and be competitive with the current plastic options, saving hundreds of thousands of marine lives.
Unchecked, plastics will outweigh the fish in our oceans by 2050. Saltwater Brewery is a small fish in the pond that is plastic manufacturing, but they have a good idea.
“We hope to influence the big guys,” Chris Goves, Saltwater Brewery’s president, said. “And hopefully inspire them to get on board,”