Saltwater Brewery - A Great Idea for Beer Packaging

Six-pack carrier made of edible material avoids plastic waste!

A start-up from Mexico and a Florida brewery avoid plastic waste with a six-pack carrier made from biodegradable and edible material.


The Mexican think tank e6pr has been implementing a cool idea together with the Saltwater Brewery in Florida since 2017. They take the first step in avoiding plastic waste by tackling a small but massive problem, the six-pack rings. Hence the name: E6PR, which stands for Eco Six Pack Ring. These are originally polyethylene compounds with which beer cans and soft drinks are combined into a six-pack in the US and other countries. A clever construction, because it achieves a lot of effect with little raw material. But these sixpack rings can mutate into killers when they land in rivers, lakes or in the sea. We know the heartbreaking image of a turtle whose body has been deformed by one of these rings. But she was lucky, because that can also be fatal. And sea turtles are in danger anyway.

Without proper disposal, the e6pr rings are at least harmless to marine animals. © e6pr

A packaging industry without plastic

Avoiding six-packs is more of a pious wish, but you can make sensible changes to millions of killer rings a year by making them from a material that does not take half an eternity to disintegrate. With the e6pr product, when disposed of in a composting facility, this material dissolves within a few days. Should it be "forgotten" in the environment, this process takes a little longer, namely a few weeks. When ingested by animals, it is harmless to them. The Mexicans themselves see their company as a first step towards a movement that aims to create the packaging industry that does not require plastic. A real step, because if the Guardian's 2017 analysis is correct, only 14 percent of the processed plastic will be recycled.

Technical solutions for clean seas

The SaltWater brewery coined the slogan Saving the Earth, One Six Pack at a Time, step by step with every six-pack. The path of the small steps is better than a stop. Of course it would be better if we did not use plastic and drinks cans worldwide. But as long as that does not work, technical solutions like the one presented here are the lesser evil. E6pr will not save the world, it will not significantly affect the plastic flood. But, it shows new ways, saves some lives in our seas and maybe it brings manufacturers who sell canned drinks to avoid consuming plastic packaging.

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Instagram: Saltwaterbrewery

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