Six-pack rings are famously bad for the environment. (Just ask Peanut The Turtle.) That’s the reason behind the latest packaging innovation from Denmark’s Carlsberg Group, but even if it weren’t potentially terrific for, you know, the world, it would still be pretty cool. It’s glue. Just glue. Glue, and engineering, and physics, and a hopefully (hop-fully?) satisfying snap sound.
Food & Wine reports that the ‘Snap Pack’ does away with the rings entirely. It’s part of the company’s effort to reduce plastic waste “by more than 1,200 [metric] tons a year,” and involves “small dots of a specially-developed glue that is strong enough to hold full cans of beer together.” They can then be snapped apart by purchasers of the brand’s multi-packs (four, six, and eight beers). It’s a development that’s apparently three years in the making.
Carlsberg involved the World Wildlife Fund in the process. Bo Øksnebjerg, the secretary general of World Wildlife Fund Denmark, said in a statement that the company considers it “huge progress that Carlsberg is now launching solutions that significantly reduce the amount of plastic in its packaging. With these new solutions, Carlsberg has taken the first big steps on the journey towards a more clean and green future.”
The Snap Pack will debut for a trial run in the U.K. this week; it will roll out in Norway beginning on September 17, then move to Denmark in 2019. A Carlsberg representative told Food & Wine that a U.S. launch is plausible, but offered no specifics.
This is neither the first six-pack innovation—in 2016, Saltwater Brewery created biodegradable six-pack rings that could be safely eaten by wildlife—nor Carlsberg’s first packaging experiment. In 2016, the company unveiled a new bottle design, made from sustainably sourced wood fiber.