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Corona Becomes First Big Beer Brand to Trial Plastic-Free Rings

Business
Corona / Business Wire

Corona will pilot 100 percent plastic-free six pack rings in select markets—the first global beer brand to attempt the switch after moves from smaller beer companies.

The plant-based rings will be piloted in Tulum, Mexico—Corona's homeland—at the beginning of 2019.


Corona's move is part of a larger effort with the environmental organization Parley for the Oceans to switch to eco-friendly packaging to help curb plastic pollution, according to a press release.

"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," Corona Better World Director Evan Ellman said in the press release. "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."

Corona is testing its rings made from "plant-based biodegradable fibers, with a mix of by-product waste and compostable materials," the press release said. If littered, "they break down into organic material that is not harmful to wildlife."

Six-pack rings have long been detested by environmentalists who warn that the material clogs our shores and oceans and could potentially strangle marine life.

Florida's Saltwater Brewery kick-started the ring reinvention two years ago with a compostable substitute derived from wheat and barley byproducts, meaning it could be safely eaten by turtles and fish. The project was a collaboration with Eco Six Pack Ring's, New York ad agency We Believers and a Mexican biodegradable manufacturer called Entelequia. The microbrewer's rings can now be found at Florida outlets such as Publix, Total Wine & More, Whole Foods Market, Lucky's Market and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

In September, Danish beer company Carlsberg announced it is phasing out the plastic rings connecting its cans. The rings will be replaced with a glue that withstands cold temperatures and can be recycled along with the can.

Parley founder and CEO Cyrill Gutsch said in the press release that Corona is a "powerful ally in our war against marine plastic pollution—and in building the material revolution that will lead us beyond it."

"We share the goal of phasing plastic out for good, because we simply can't afford its toxic impact anymore," he added.

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