Six-pack rings that make their way into the ocean spell all kinds of trouble for its residents, trapping and choking sea-dwelling animals or otherwise taking their sweet time to break down. So one Florida-based craft brewery is turning this curse into a blessing, tying its six-packs together with an edible material for marine life to feast on.
Saltwater Brewery makes the material from barley and wheat remnants leftover from its beer brewing and says it is 100 percent biodegradable, compostable and best of all, edible. This means that rather than creating a death trap for ocean wildlife, the waste can provide a nice little snack instead.
Saltwater teamed up with ad agency We Believers for the project, and while the brewery is small and the rings will have a marginal impact to begin with, it hopes to inspire larger brewers to follow suit.
When it comes to pollution in the ocean it's a lot more than simply six-pack rings that are wreaking havoc. A study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences estimates there to be as much as 580,000 pieces of plastic per km sq in the ocean. It also predicts that 99 percent of seabird species will have ingested plastics by 2050.
The edible rings aren't a comprehensive solution, and there are much bigger picture ideas aimed at tackling this huge problem such as the Ocean Cleanup project. They could, however, start moving beer brewers in a new direction, one six pack at a time.
You can hear from those involved in the video below.