Images of distraught sea animals being strangled or hampered by plastic six-pack rings are burned into our collective memories. The connective bits of plastic were an ingenious innovation when they were introduced to consumers – and even though the environmental cost by far outweighed the benefit to convenience, the notorious six-pack rings have gone largely unchanged.
Then along came a beer company who wanted to make a difference, and an ad agency with a really, really good idea.
“Saltwater Breweryhas partnered with the ad agencyWe Believersto create what they say is the first fully edible beer can packaging,” wrote Discover Magazine. “Rather than ensnaring curious animalsin a corset of litter, the company’ssix-pack rings could serve as a satisfying snack. And if nothing is biting, the rings quickly decompose.”
The brewery will take a hit financially for spending more on what is typically a low-cost part of manufacturing and distribution. But the extra attention – and admiration from solution-focused groups like The Fur-Bearers – will likely help offset the losses.
And, ideally, other manufacturers will see the success of this kind of product, both for its obvious environmental boost and the positive public relations spin off, and start leaning toward similar products, which would then reduce the overall costs of such products, making them more common.
That’s how great change happens: businesses leading from the front, showing solutions not only exist, but are good management decisions. And we can’t wait to what they come up with next.