Six Pack Ring by Saltwater Brewery

The images are heartbreaking: fish, birds, and other aquatic animals ensnared in plastic debris. Chief among the culprits are the rings that connect six-packs of canned beverages together.

The team at Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, Fla., wanted to do something about it. Earlier this year, the brewery became the first to use E6PR, an ecofriendly six-pack ring made from brewery by-product waste (including spent malt, barley, and wheat) and other compostable materials; the rings can also be safely eaten by animals that come in contact with it. Brewery President Chris Grove added, “We hope to influence the big guys and inspire them to get on board.”

The brainchild of New York-based advertising and innovation agency We Believers and Mexico-based biodegradables supplier Entelequia, E6PR is now backed by a group of investors working to scale production and fill the demand from interested breweries and other companies.