It is a well-known fact that human’s plastic consumption affects badly for the environment around us. Particularly, the disposal of trash to sea water has killed thousands of marine lives and you may have seen how the six-pack rings used to hold packs of soda or beer was thrown into the sea. The following picture shows one such incident where an innocent turtle is suffocating from such a ring as it has totally deformed its shape.
This picture shows only a single incident where marine animals were affected by plastic. Many sea animals eat plastic mistaking them to be foods and you would have probably seen the pictures many dead birds, whales and other animals with bellies full of plastic.
Statics show that at least 1 million sea birds are negatively impacted by plastic pollution every year. That number includes an estimated 100,000 sea turtles and marine mammals like sea otters.
Mark Tokuoka, marine biologists explain that “Millions of marine mammals and sea turtles become entrapped in plastic or ingest it and die”.
So, as a solution to this huge problem a Florida-based company called Saltwater Brewery along with ad agency We Believers created some anti-plastic rings which are edible and can feed marine animals instead of killing them.
The brewery is on a mission to replace all of their classic plastic six-pack rings with an edible model. They sell about 400,000 cans per month and they estimate that it will cost around 10-15 cents per unit if they order in extra bulk. This would be expensive than the plastic variety for sure but that would worth the extra cost.
The company believes that if other companies also follow their example surely, they can create a huge change and also the cost would go down and would be more comparable to traditional plastic.
The co-founder of We Believers, Gustavo Lauria says that “If most craft breweries and big beer companies implement this technology, the manufacturing cost will drop and be very competitive compared with the current plastic solution, while saving hundreds of thousands of marine lives”.
The best part of this new creation is that rings are made out of wheat and barley which are the leftovers from the brewing process and it is 100% biodegradable.
According to a law enacted in 1989, six-pack rings are required to be made out using 100% photodegradable plastic. This type of plastic breaks down into smaller pieces within 60-120 days. But, it is questionable whether all the beer rings are produced according to this standard.
Moreover, 60 days is long enough for animals to become entangled in plastic. Last year, it was revealed that Americans consume 6.3 billions of gallons of beer and most of the plastic rings used to hold them ended up in the sea.
Fisherman Russel S. Haas says that “people think cutting the rings is enough (but) the birds and turtles eat the plastic either way”.
We think this would be a good solution to plastic pollution. Share your thoughts with us!
Image Credit & More Info: Saltwater Brewery.