What are your plans for this summer? Mountains, jungle, desert? I always enjoy staying the hottest days of the year at the seaside. Spending as much time as possible right on the beach, enjoying the sun, reading books, and getting a nice tan is my favourite kind of summer.
The last time I spent some days on the beach, I saw something terrible though: A sea turtle with the plastic ring of a six-pack right around its shell. The ring put so much pressure on the poor animal; it couldn’t free itself from it. The second I saw it, I stepped in and carefully removed the plastic ring. That night I did a little research online and found out that plastic waste is a massive problem for marine animals. People have BBQs on the beach and simply throw their trash into the ocean, instead of putting it into a bin so it can be recycled.
Did you know that more than 9 million pieces of plastic rubbish are thrown into the oceans every year? And unfortunately a massive amount of this trash is from plastic rings that once held beverage cans together. And that is where I, a true can fan, get really upset. Especially because there is nobody who is responsible to clean the oceans from waste (Yes, countries with coastlines don’t even have to do that!) and more than 1.1 million animals suffer from polluted oceans every year. It’s mostly birds and marine mammals that get entangled in plastic strips or even end up confusing plastics for food and consequently die of it.
But of course I wouldn’t tell you all about it, if there wasn’t a solution for this problem. Saltwater Brewery, a craft beer brand in Florida, designed an edible ring for their beer cans. Instead of killing animals it feeds them. The ring is a result of using by-products of the beer production, like barley and wheat. That means: Almost zero waste in the production of beer. How cool is that? The 100% biodegradable, compostable and edible rings are the first ones in the beer industry. And that’s what I call pure awesomeness in one product!
As Saltwater Brewery started their edible packaging just recently I’m curious how fast the change of packaging will be adapted by other companies. I’m sure it has the potential to save many animals’ lives and the turtle I saw last year can enjoy the sea plastic-free as it used to be a long time ago. And for me, it means that I can enjoy a nice and cold beverage from a can without having to worry about polluting the ocean!
What do you think about the edible packaging? Did you ever get into a situation like I did and saved an animal’s life? Share your story as a comment.