Saltwater Brewery has developed an edible six-pack ring made out of barley and wheat remnants left-over after the brewing process. The Delray Beach, Florida brewery says their packaging can be eaten by sea animals, and that it is the first time that "100 percent biodegradable and edible packaging has been implemented in the beer industry," according to a promotional video released by the brewery.
This isn't the first major development that's been made to make plastic rings safer for animals and marine life. Since 1989 under federal law, all six-pack rings have been "required to be 100 percent photodegradable," according to the Plastics Industry Trade Association. This means that that any rings developed must be able to be decomposed by light.
Still, plastic rings have proved to be harmful to wildlife, with animals finding their heads caught in plastic beverage rings or eating the plastic directly.
"Around the world, an estimated 1 million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles become entrapped in plastic or ingest it and die," said marine biologist Mark Tokulka in the video.
Chris Grove, president of Saltwater Brewery, hopes the edible packaging will influence change in the beer world. "We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to get on board."