The terrifying pictures of plastic ring pollution in beer cans (and how to fix it)

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Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
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Turtles, fish, seals, sea birds, but also cats and even a possum. They are the victims of the plastic rings that are used to hold the beer cans. Finished at sea or lost on land, they often found unsuspecting animals on their way, suffocated or stuck, even killed.



Turtles, fish, seals, sea birds, but also cats and even a possum. They are the victims of the plastic rings that are used to hold the beer cans. Finished at sea or lost on land, they often found unsuspecting animals on their way, suffocated or stuck, even killed.



Plastic rings are used to hold together multiple packs of canned drinks, especially beers. A standard packaging system that has been in use for over 50 years. A real environmental scourge, of which too little is said, which has contributed to the plastic pollution of the oceans and endangered marine and terrestrial life.

Even today, in fact, the animals continue to deal with the rings. In the best of cases they manage to free themselves, but more often they get entangled or worse, suffocated. Although fish and turtles are certainly the best known and often photographed, many other creatures have suffered and are suffering the consequences of using the rings.

Among these, as shown in the images, birds, possums, ducks and cats.

The following images show what this waste causes to animals

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What to do? The green alternatives

There would be alternatives. One has already been adopted by Saltwater Brewery, a craft beer company in Delray Beach that made plastic rings edible. In this way, even if they end up in the sea or on the beach, instead of being injured, turtles, fish and birds could eat them.

Carlsberg also recently has announced an even more drastic and significant change of course to reduce the presence of this waste, which is so dangerous for animals. The cans in packs of 4, 6 or 8 can be held together by a few drops of a special glue, designed to withstand high temperatures, transport and refrigeration. The cans snap automatically when separated and the glue can be recycled along with the aluminum. This solution will hit supermarket shelves on 10 September in some Tesco branches in the UK and then in Norway.



We hope that Carlsberg's example will also be followed by other brands and that this hazardous waste can be replaced with solutions that are more friendly to the environment and its inhabitants.

READ also:

  • Goodbye plastic: beer packaging is edible and feeds fish and turtles (VIDEO)
  • Turtle freed from a plastic bottle attached to its back for years (VIDEO)
  • Shock plastic: 10 National Geographic images everyone should see (besides the cover)
  • Europe bans single-use plastics. Goodbye to straws, plates and crockery from 2019

Francesca Mancuso

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