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Edible six-pack rings protect sea life

A Florida brewery is using waste from the brewing process to manufacture eco-friendly six-pack rings to replace the plastic used in existing products.

Craft and independent brewers are increasingly turning to cans for their beers, partly due to the positive environmental credentials of metal containers, which can be repeatedly recycled to reduce waste and pollution. However, the cans are often held together by plastic rings which can get entangled in animals and fish when they’re thrown away.

Now, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has replaced the plastic, using an alternative created from the waste by-products of their own brewing process. The new product is biodegradable, and if eaten by animals will also cause no harm to them.

The rings are made from wheat and barley draff, the by-product of the brewing mash process, and are created using a 3D-printed mould. The manufacturers are experimenting with the addition of other natural fibres and the by-products of other beers like stout. In developing the product they had to ensure that the rings withstood humidity and the combined weight of the beer cans.

The project was instigated by advertising agency ‘We Believers’, who approached the Saltwater Brewery. The product is awaiting a patent.


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