Global beer giant Corona is getting serious about the earth’s oceans which are increasingly being polluted by plastic debris. And now they are piloting new six pack rings made from plant-based biodegradable fibers that could change everything.
In a press release the Mexican brewer outlined its experimental packaging and the company’s shared mission with Parley for the Oceans to help protect the world’s oceans and beaches from marine plastic pollution.
With roughly 8 million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean each year, Corona has adopted Parley’s strategy to not only “avoid” and “intercept” plastic as much as possible, but also help “redesign” solutions that use the material.
And although Corona is primarily packaged in glass and fiberboard, the brand seized on the opportunity to address the most common source of the plastic that they do use in their product packaging… six pack rings.
The plastic-free rings being tested by Corona are made from plant-based biodegradable fibers, a mix of by-product waste and compostable materials that when left in the environment, will break down into organic material that is not harmful to wildlife.
Most plastic six pack rings used today are made from a photodegradable form of polyethylene that results in increasingly smaller pieces of plastic if not recycled.
And even though most plastic rings are recyclable, the truth is that the majority of all plastic created just doesn’t get recycled, which was the motivation for Corona to explore solutions that avoid the material entirely.
Corona’s new packaging experiment starts in the brand’s homeland of Mexico, where the plastic-free rings will be piloted in Tulum in early 2019. And if those early efforts prove favorable, the company hopes to bring the eco-friendly six pack rings to the UK in 2020.
This from Evan Ellman, Corona Better World Director….
“The beach is an important part of Corona’s DNA and we have been working with Parley to address the issue on the frontlines where plastic is physically accumulating.”
“We also recognize the influence a global brand like Corona can have on the industry, and with the support of Parley, are pursuing scalable solutions like plastic-free six pack rings that can become a new standard to avoid plastic for good.”
And his from Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO, Parley for the Oceans…
Our oceans are under attack. We are taking their life in rapid speed, destroying the chemistry that allows us to be here. Corona is a powerful ally in our war against marine plastic pollution. We share the goal of phasing plastic out for good, because we simply can’t afford its toxic impact anymore.”
Since their partnership launched in 2017, Corona and Parley have conducted over three hundred clean-ups in over 15 countries, including the Maldives, Palau, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile, Indonesia, Italy, South Africa and Australia. And working with more than seven thousand volunteers they’ve successfully rid the environment of more than three million pounds of plastic debris found in more than two hundred locations.
But Corona isn’t the only beer giant looking for alternatives to the polluting plastic six pack rings….
Last September Carlsberg announced that it will be replacing traditional plastic 6-pack rings with tiny dots of glue binding the cans together that won’t trash the world’s oceans or entangle its sea life.
Image credit: Corona