Corona is trying a plastic-free six-pack ring in Mexico starting in 2019. The rings are made with plant-based biodegradable fibers with a mix of by-product waste and compostable materials. If they are left at the beach or end up in nature instead of a trash can, they will decompose instead of killing wildlife.
Biodegradable plastic rings
Last week I wrote that the future of environmentalism will look like a circular economy, and using biodegradable fibers instead of plastic is one example of that. When companies use waste byproducts and compostable materials instead of brand new plastic they prevent resources from ending up in landfills after just one use. When the fibers are compostable instead of plastic, they are less likely to end up in dolphins' stomachs or wrapped around a turtle's head.
We definitely need more plastic alternatives like this.
It turns out the United States is the number one litterbug in the world. We put 275K metric tons of plastic litter into the ocean in 2010. China followed closely behind with 231K metric tons of plastic litter. (Source: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/plastic-waste-littered)
I knew plastic litter was a problem, but I'm still surprised when I see statistics like that. It would be such an easy problem to prevent if people just used garbage cans. The same report from Our World in Data shows the United States is only responsible for .89% of the world's mismanaged waste (garbage from open dumps, landfills, and litter).
In other words, we manage landfills well enough, but we can't walk our trash to garbage cans when we're having a picnic at the beach. One more reason innovation is the key to solving environmental problems like ocean plastic and climate change.
It's been a while since I had a Corona, but it might be time to try one again.