A brewery’s latest marketing drive promotes its new packaging – which can be eaten by marine animals.
Saltwater and We Believers used by-products from the brewing process to develop what they believe to be the first ever 100 per cent biodegradable, compostable and edible packaging to be implemented in the beer industry.
Saltwater Brewery have created the first biodegradable six pack ring, made from leftovers from the brewing process (such as barley and wheat), tackling the ongoing issue of human waste polluting the sea.
Saltwater Brewery worked with New York advertising agency We believers to replace its plastic rings with bio-based packaging made from edible wheat and barley.
The company said: “We want to create quality beer, but any way we can promote educational awareness of the ocean environment and making sure that it’s healthy.”
According to international organization for greenpeace and We believers, around 100 million tonnes of plastics are produced each year (of which a larger percentage of these ends up in the sea). Americans drank about 6.3 billion gallons of beer in 2015 “A full 50 per cent of that volume is sold in cans, but the problem with cans is they come together with plastic six-pack rings and most of these plastic six-pack rings end up in our oceans posing a serious threat to wildlife.”
The organisation claims 50 to 70 per cent of seabirds and up to 80 per cent of sea turtles in any given population are known to have digested debris like plastic.
The team initially experimented with seaweed but soon realised it became too rigid outside of water – which meant it might cut or choke an animal that came across it washed up on the shore. Instead, they moulded wheat and barley left over from the brewing process into the typical packaging shape.
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The company aims to produce 400,000 edible six-pack rings per month.
According to Lauria, the first mass-produced batch will cost between 10 and 15 US cents per unit.
“If our six-pack ring ends up in the ocean, in a matter of hours it starts breaking down, which also addresses the issue of animals getting stuck in them,” Gustavo Lauria, co-founder of We Believers told sources.
“We hope to influence the big guys and hopefully inspire them to get on board,” said Saltwater Brewery president Chris Goves.
“For a long time, it was one of the best packaging design solutions – it is lightweight, resistant and easy to carry,” she further stated.
To combat the volume of plastic waste, designers are increasingly applying bio-based packaging solutions.
One team from Japan created a Lexus Design Award-winning prototype plastic alternative from seaweed, follow link here while material science company Ecovative won the Design Museum’s 2015 Design of the Year award for its packaging made from agricultural byproducts and mushroom mycelium.
Other designers have aimed to reduce pollution by recycling ocean plastic into eco-friendly trainers, clothings and furniture.
Compiled and edited by: Jimmy Adesanya.
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