The Dangers of Plastic Six-Pack Rings

Published by Kinsbrae Packaging


Posted on December 15, 2021

Similar to plastic straws, six-pack rings are often seen as the enemies of the ocean. Images of sea turtles with six-pack rings encircling their bodies have sparked a public backlash against these everyday items, and for a good reason. While they may only make up a small amount of plastic floating in the ocean, they are among some of the most dangerous to marine life. This is why many beverage companies are looking for eco-rings as a new way of packaging their cans

Hundreds of Species Affected

It has been estimated that 100,000 marine animals die after encountering plastic every year. Almost 700 species are now known to be harmed by ocean plastic, and the list is only getting longer. Marine animals from birds to mammals are impacted, not just from entanglement in rings but also from ingesting micro-sized plastic particles, which can cause the animals to starve because it plugs up their digestive systems.  

Scientists have referred to microplastics as a kind of “plastic soup.” They believe that there are anywhere from 15 to 50 trillion pieces of microplastics in the ocean. This can do a lot of damage to the marine life that call the waters their home. 

How Do They End up in the Ocean?

One question that often comes up is, “how do the six-pack rings end up in our waterways? Canned beer is very popular at picnics and beach parties where packaging is not correctly disposed of. Six-pack rings are also very lightweight and can easily blow away from garbage cans and even landfills. It is estimated that about 80% of debris found in the ocean originates as land-based trash, and the remaining 20% is attributed to the at-sea disposal of goods or waste. 

Marine debris can affect the marine ecosystem directly not only by ingestion or entanglement but by also contributing to the movement of invasive species. Plastic marine debris is particularly concerning due to how long it can stay in a marine environment without biodegrading. The physical and chemical hazards it brings to marine animals and birds is because it is frequently mistaken as food.

Shying Away from Traditional Plastic Packaging

To cut down on these harmful plastics ending up in the ocean, many companies are shying away from the traditional plastic packaging, including six-pack rings. At KinsBrae Packaging, we understand the environmental concerns of our customers, which is why we have created EcoRings.

The E6PR product packaging solution offers beverage companies a cost-effective alternative while reducing the harmful effects of the traditional ring package. Some of the features of the EcoRing include:

  • Eco-Friendly Materials
  • Not Petroleum-Based
  • Digestible Ingredients
  • Durable and Long-Lasting
  • Versatile for Your Needs
  • Socially Responsible

One of the most important features of the eco-rings is that they are completely biodegradable and can break down in approximately 200 days. The rings are made from a proprietary mix of biobased by-product waste from the food and beverage industry and other organic materials. This can help free up space in landfills and won’t cause problems in the world’s oceans. 

Constructed with non-toxic materials, the EcoRings have been tested by Avomeen Analytical Services and are certified to have no pesticides or other volatile substances. The EcoRing has also been made to align with EPA standards for biodegradability and ASTM standards for a bio-based product. 

If you are looking for an alternative to traditional six-pack rings, contact KinsBrae Packaging today. Our team will be happy to discuss the features of the E6PR and how it can benefit your business.