Florida brewery unveils ‘first’ eco-friendly six-pack ring

In a bid to reduce waste plastic, SaltWater Brewery is the first brewery to use what it claims is the first eco-friendly six-pack ring made from by-product waste and other compostable materials, called E6PR.

The environmental impact of waste plastic has garnered considerable media attention in recent weeks, with programmes such as the highly acclaimed Blue Planet highlighting the plight of animals suffering the ill effects of non-biodegradable rubbish.

It is estimated that over eight million tons of plastic are dumped in the ocean every year and by 2025, that figure is expected to double. Approximately one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our seas.

According to E6PR™ when properly disposed of, the eco-friendly six-pack ring “finds its way to a compostable facility, where it will degrade in days, and when, unfortunately, left out in open land or a water system, it will degrade in a matter of weeks”.

It also states that the product is made from compostable organic materials, meaning that should it be ingested by wildlife, it will not cause harm.

E6PR has worked closely with Chris Gove of Saltwater Brewery and the Florida-based brewery is the company’s first client, now featuring the E6PR rings on its line of Screamin Reels IPA.

SaltWater Brewery was initially approached to trial an edible six-pack ring, but the edible element was abandoned due to possible contamination during the shipping process.

E6PR™(Eco Six-Pack Ring) was founded in 2017 after securing the backing of New York-based advertising agency We Believers, eco-friendly engineering company Entelequia and a group of private investors in the beverage packaging industry.

SaltWater brewery announced the launch this week on Instagram, stating: “We are beyond excited to announce that the Eco Six Pack Rings have officially launched! After months of prototype testing and product improvement, the E6PR featuring Screamin Reels IPA is available to purchase”.

E6PR™ will be used in the packaging of the brewery’s Screamin Reels IPA and will be also be available to buy from the SaltWater Reef Room and in South Florida stores including Publix, Total Wine, Whole Foods, Lucky’s Market and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits.

“Together, we can all be advocates for a clean and safe environment,” said Chris Gove, co-founder and president at Saltwater Brewery.

“With the help of E6PR, we would like to inspire the entire beer industry to follow our lead. We are proud to be the first brewery using E6PRs for our cans. Our goal is to transition all of the packaging in our facility to this six-pack ring alternative that goes beyond recycling and strives to achieve zero waste”.

Plastic six-pack rings can have a harmful effect on wildlife.

Marco Vega, co-founder of We Believers, said: “What started as a simple idea to create awareness around the issue of plastic waste, has evolved into a very real opportunity to revolutionise the beverage packaging industry and have a positive impact on the environment.

“More than 50% of beer consumed in the US is sold in cans, a trend that is only expected to grow in the near future. Most of the material used to hold these cans is still plastic.”

The goal for the company is to mass produce its product for use by major drinks distributors and companies. It is also experimenting with a version that is made from the waste by-products from brewing.

“If most craft brewers and big beer companies implement this technology, we will potentially be saving hundreds of thousands of marine lives as a result,” said Francisco García, the engineer behind the project, co-founder at Entelequia and now COO at E6PR.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive and we hope to continue to highlight the value for companies, big and small, in dedicating themselves to being environmentally responsible”.

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