Danish brewer Carlsberg Group is eliminating plastic in their 6-packs with a new eco-friendly option: glue.
There’s an island floating in the middle of the Pacific ocean that is made entirely out of plastic garbage. A lot of that plastic is made up of garbage bags and bits of packaging, but a lot of it is from beer. Specifically, the rings that contain a standard 6-pack.
If you’ve ever seen a World Wildlife Foundation ad, then you’ve probably seen a seagull with a plastic 6-pack around its head.
We, as a species, have two options: we can stop drinking beer (which will obviously never happen) or we can think of a better way to keep six cans of beer close together.
Carlsberg naturally wants to keep their shareholders happy, so getting out of the business wasn’t a viable option. The only course left then was to come up with something to replace those terrible plastic rings. But what could stick six cans together better than plastic?
The answer: glue.
The beermaker tested 4,000 different adhesives before finally falling on the option that was not too strong, not too weak, but was just right to keep a 6-pack together in transit while being breakable by human hands. They call it the Snap Pack.
Carlsberg expects this to reduce their plastic usage by 75%, or roughly 1,200 tons per year. To commemorate the move, and to provide a physical example of just how big 1,200 tons of plastic is, Carlsberg commissioned an art piece to place directly next to a similar statue that is considered to be much more famous.
They’re both called The Little Mermaid, which can be confusing since one is a bronze statue unveiled in 1913, while the modern Little Mermaid was unveiled last Thursday and is made out of plastic. Besides the similar themes, the two statues are also related by blood. The original statue was made by Edvard Eriksen, while the modern reinterpretation was made by his granddaughter, Alice Eriksen.
Carlsberg will test their new Snap Pack design in the UK, where roughly a third of all Carlsbergs made is consumed. If successful, we might just see them come across the pond to your local liquor stores.