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Edible Six Pack Rings (E6PR)

The first Edible Six Pack Ring that carries cans and its made from beer by-product waste. Its compostable and perform better than plastic.

Photo of Francisco Garcia

Written by

By integrating a team of creatives and engineers, we developed what might hopefully become a key contribution to the future of packaging for the next 20 / 30 years.

We take part of the waste from the beer process and combine it with other by-products to produce the Edible Six Pack Rings, which will carry the cans from beers and soft drinks throughout all its distribution process,  all the way to your freezer, and to its final disposal: garbage or, regretfully, open land or sea.

After lots of hours and hard work, the engineers found their way to solve the resistance and durability problem from the material, up to a point where the product performs at par with the current plastic carriers options.

These new Edible Plastic Rings can be eaten by animals in the sea. It doesn't have any nutritional properties but it is what we call "animal safe".

It´s impossible to  prevent all people from throwing plastic to the oceans. Nonetheless, this E6PR can help to  create a  greater awareness and culture to work against ocean contamination. Furthermore, if people do throw this carrier to open land or sea, it will biodegrade in a matter of weeks. Better yet, if disposed responsibly to make its way to a compostable facility, it will degrade in days.

The use of these products in aluminum cans is just the beginning; we plan to develop a portfolio of products for glass and plastic bottles, as well as other packaging applications in the future.

At this point, the project needs a lot of energy and support to grow profitably to the required scale in order to be available to all the packaging industry.


Some of the awards already won:

Gold Cannes Lions 2016 (Product Innovation)

Gold Award in Clio Awards 2016 (Environmental)

Yellow and Pencil in D&AD Awards 2016 (Packaging Design)

Wood Pencil in D&AD Awards 2017 (Packaging Design)

Grand Prix in "El Ojo de Iberoamerica" 2016 (Design)

Best 2016 Innovations by "NowThis Future"

Best of 2016 by Creativity-Online

Winner of the 2017 World Changing Ideas by Fast Company

Green Pencil in The One Club Show



How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

It replaces the plastic as a whole. This material is completely biodegradable, compostable and edible. Depending on the ecosystem where its thrown the E6PR can disintegrate in less than 200 days.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

CASE 3 products. Replacing the common six pack plastic rings, which are used all around the world with a production capacity of billions of pieces a month.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

1. Craft beer: the higher price of craft beers provides sufficient margin to adopt the E6PR initially (this market segment is often environmentally conscious) 2. High volume beer brands and premium drinks, as we scale up production and develop high speed application solutions. 3. Soft drinks and others. With the current design and production capabilities, we plan to go to market at a price around $0.25 USD

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Operating Concept / Startup: You have fulfilled the stages of testing, undertaken a full scale roll-out, and are currently operating this concept/idea as a business.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Our project currently enjoys very high market expectations given its initial video concept launch. We’ve been contacted by numerous small, medium and large companies interested in the product, and will require to scale up quickly and skillfully to be able to reach a relevant market penetration in our region in the short to medium term. We can definitely benefit from an accelerator program that can help us through our growth process.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea was generated in an “aha moment” when one of the team members decided that it was simply enough, and that we (society) MUST find a solution to eliminate the common six pack plastics rings that everyone is so used to, and that we have all learned to be so damaging to our environment.

Tell us about your work experience

Our initial project scope was: * Design of the product * Computer CAE analysis and optimization * Physical prototype * Physical test * Project Video elaboration Record Time!

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

We are legal entity based in Mexico as: E6PR SAPI de CV. We are conformed by 3 groups of shareholders with different fields of expertise.

Attachments (1)

IMG_6651.JPG

The product is already in mass production and all test were passed with good results.

10 comments

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Photo of Alexandre Cecilia
Team

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Photo of Carolina Mndz
Team

This is great idea. I have seen many beverage companies adopt new sustainable practices to add to their social responsibility campaign. I see a great potential for this idea.

Photo of LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS
Team

We love this! LOLIWARE EDIBLE BIOPLASTICS is so excited to see another edible product! We've also been grappling with the material properties & challenges of scaling an edible bioplastic on the market--let us know if we can do anything to help E6PR move forward.

Photo of Troy Gardner
Team

Can't wait till this is mandated, I still have no idea why these are made from things that are clearly going to end up in the worst places imaginable...inside the belly's of fish/birds who can't tell it's not food :/

Photo of Francisco Garcia
Team

Hi Troy,
This XXI century requires that Design begins with sustainability as 1st priority of all the new products, lets make the example to all big companies!

Best
Francisco G.
E6PR.com

Photo of archipleasure
Team

Hi Francisco,
We came across your 6-packs a while back and were immensely intrigues by it!
This might be a silly question but we were wondering how six pack rings end up in the ocean rather than, say, a landfill? Do you think it could give the impression to consumers that its acceptable to litter? Also what are the nutrition values of the product and can it affect the diet of said animals?

Sorry to bombard you with questions but we were really interested in your idea.

Photo of Francisco Garcia
Team

Hi,

All those question were very common a few months ago when the product was first showed.

You can't control what people do with their trash, but its a reality that A LOT of garbage goes to the ocean, we are just making one of thousand of products biodegradable and animal safe.

In my experience, it will be impossible to avoid the problem of trowing garbage to the ocean because its a cultural problem that maybe un US is not common but in other countries its a day by day issue.

Not nutritional but only animal eating safe, so it goes through the digestive system (and gluten free by the way).

Best
Francisco García
E6PR

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Francisco!

It is great to have you in the challenge.

Are there other adaptations of this technology? Could it apply to any of these examples as well - https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/d7cfea9d-b5a2-4ce3-a8de-3e518a3c4b67.pdf?

Do you have websites for the three organisations that you can share with us to provide some context for your startup up and highlight the team behind the idea? I found this website - www.desechablesbiodegradables .com

I noticed this in tour submission - 'Depending on the ecosystem where its thrown the E6PR can disintegrate in less than 200 days' - under what conditions does E6PR degrade quicker than the 200 days?

Are there other uses for wheat and barley fiber?

Finally, you might want to include some links to articles about the prizes you have won e.g. http://www.milenio.com/negocios/emprender-en-mexico/entelequia-negocio-mexico_busca_pasion_emprender-milenio-noticias_0_970103137.html

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Also, are you on LinkedIn? Have you considered joining the Circular Design Guide Group - https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8585051?

This group is about design & the circular economy. It's run jointly by IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Photo of Francisco Garcia
Team

Hi Kate,

Here some answers:
Are there other adaptations of this technology?
We are currently starting to learn about our material and performing each day better. Its incredible to see this "waste" materials carrying 2 - 3 kg of cans. But right now we are going baby steps in order to achieve 1 objetive at a time, its a very complex process.

Do you have websites for the three organisations that you can share with us to provide some context for your startup up and highlight the team behind the idea?
YEs, we are 3 groups.
The general web page is: www.e6pr.com
Team member 1: entelequia
www.desechablesbiodegradables.com
Team member 2: We Believers.
http://webelievers.com/
Team member 3: Tapon Corona
www.taponcorona.com.mx/

under what conditions does E6PR degrade quicker than the 200 days?
If we use a compost facility it can disintegrate in less than 90 days.

Are there other uses for wheat and barley fiber?
Yes, we just opened a pandora Box :) All of that is part of our Patent pending process that is already filled and in process.

Finally, you might want to include some links to articles about the prizes you have won e.g.
We have around 20 prizes all around the world. I will put down the project in the contest and just give me around 2 or 3 days to write them all.

Best!
Francisco Garcia
E6PR