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Here's why Saltwater Brewery's 'edible' 6-pack rings matter

Over a million seabirds and a hundred thousand other marine animals are killed by plastic rings each year.

Saltwater brewery

Thanks to a Florida brewery, your next six-pack can help save sea turtles. 

Saltwater Brewery was founded in 2013 in Delray Beach, Florida. The company is deeply tied to the ocean — and not just by location. From surf-loving patrons to sea-inspired beer names, Saltwater seems like the place Poseiden would come for a cold one. 

That's why it makes perfect sense that Saltwater was one of the first beverage companies to use the biodegradable Eco Six Pack Rings.

These eco-friendly rings, also known as E6PR, are designed to replace standard plastic six-pack holders. They perform well in both wet and dry conditions while retaining the ability to naturally break down into the environment. 

The rings are made from fiber by-products and compostable materials, which helps to reduce waste from production to disposal and encourages a more circular economy. Saltwater Brewery first went viral for using in the rings back in 2016, and now more than 200 brands use the product around the world.

It's become common practice to cut up plastic rings before disposing of them, but they can still harm sea creatures, which often ingest them. 

As early as 1987, the Associated Press was reporting that six-pack rings killed approximately 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals each year. By 1994, the EPA had ordered all rings to be degradable, but not biodegradable, so the rings would break down over time, but they could still harm the animals that ate them. 

Other beverage businesses are investigating ways to limit plastic packaging, too. Coors Light has announced plans to abandon plastic rings for good. Meanwhile, Guinness has a biodegradable pack available, and Carlsberg's Snap Pack uses glue to hold cans together without plastics.

Eco Six Pack Rings can be found on Saltwater's to-go canned drinks including Screamin' Reels IPA and Passion Pit fruit ale throughout Florida stores like Publix, Total Wine & More, and Whole Foods — and via home delivery from the brewery's website.

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