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Six-pack Rings

One of the world’s best package designs ruined by a poor material choice


The six-pack ring was one of the best packaging solutions ever. it was very lightweight and minimalist in design. It was strong, yet sleek in form and function. It was perhaps the easiest way to carry drinks with very little packaging waste to deal with when the party’s over. The manufacturing footprint was amazing – only a few grams of material to make the packaging for pounds of beverage containers.

But photos of six-pack rings floating in lakes, washed up on the beaches, and entangling wildlife prompted public outcry. The famous pictures of dead sea birds with six-pack rings around their necks, or sea turtles nearly cut in half as they grew with a ring around their middle, led to tremendous backlash against the product; and it’s almost immediate withdrawal from the shelves.

If only the manufacturers would have used a biodegradable material and a plastic that would sink instead of float if accidentally dropped in the water. Green Dot has such a resin. The right company could resurrect a great product and have a very good environmental story to go with it.