Flying Tiger Brewery is leading the way in eco-conscious beer packaging in Louisiana, becoming the first brewery in the state to utilize biodegradable, compostable, and even edible rings for its beer packaging, according to NOLA.com. Crafted from wheat and barley — the very grains used in brewing beer — the rings provide an environmentally responsible alternative to traditional plastic packaging.
James Simpson, co-founder and head of operations at Flying Tiger Brewery, highlighted the eco-friendly advantages of these rings, stating, "They don't harm animals, and they don't contribute to street waste; they disappear without a trace."
Although technically edible, Simpson noted, "I actually had a nibble; they taste a lot like cardboard, not something you'll find on a plate with a side of garlic potatoes anytime soon."
Flying Tiger Brewery has incorporated the rings into the packaging of their Doux Drop wheat ale, available in four-packs. The inspiration for this eco-friendly move is tied to the designation of Queen Bess Island as a state wildlife refuge in 2019. In line with their commitment to environmental conservation, the brewery has pledged to donate 5% of Doux Drops' sales to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The packaging proudly features an image of the blue-winged teal, a small duck species facing population declines in Louisiana, bringing attention to the foundation's conservation efforts.
Traditionally, the brewery has used hard plastic six-pack holders, opting for these over the older, flimsy plastic rings notorious for their adverse impact on wildlife. While the conventional holders are recyclable, Flying Tiger wanted an even more eco-friendly alternative for a beer that actively supports environmental causes.
The biodegradable rings are provided by the Mexican start-up E6PR, which stands for "Eco Six Pack Ring." Initially marketed as "edible," these rings gained recognition for their environmentally conscious qualities, with promotional videos on the company's website even showing sea turtles safely interacting with them.
While craft brewers have primarily favored these innovative rings, even industry giants like Corona and Guinness have experimented with them in limited runs.