Six pack rings

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Six pack rings

Six pack rings or six pack yokes are a set of connected plastic rings that are used in multi-packs of beverage, particularly six packs of beverage cans.


The six pack rings in most common use today are the descendants of an original design by ITW Hi-Cone, which first introduced them in St. Louis, Missouri in the summer of 1960.[1] Within 10 years, plastic rings had completely replaced the paper and metal based holders then common in the market.[1] Today several other manufacturers continue to produce six pack rings. Though interest in multi-packs has continued to grow, other variations, including paperboard baskets and HDPE plastic can carriers have grown in popularity, providing an alternative to conventional six pack rings.[2]

Environmental concerns[edit]

Since the late 1970s,[3] six pack rings have been cited as a particularly dangerous form of marine litter as marine wildlife used to be found entangled in the rings, sometimes strangling to death.[4][5]

Six-pack rings are a relatively minor contributor to marine litter and wildlife fatalities. Fishing gear and other plastic wastes are a larger problem.[6]

In pop culture[edit]

  • In the Futurama episode "Obsoletely Fabulous", six ducks are trapped in the same six pack ring, who are then mistaken for beer cans by the robot Bender.
  • The 2006 animated film Happy Feet features a penguin whose head is trapped in a six pack ring.
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Old Man and the Lisa", Montgomery Burns attaches millions of "recycled" six-pack holders together into a net, which he uses to catch tons of sea life and make "Li'l Lisa Slurry".


  1. ^ a b ITW History
  2. ^ "Interest In Multipacks Picks Up". Food & Beverage Packaging. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Should you cut up six-pack rings so they don't choke sea birds?". The Straight Dope. 1999-07-16. Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  4. ^ "Six pack rings hazard to wildlife". Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  5. ^ "Louisiana Fisheries - Fact Sheets". Retrieved 2010-09-15. 
  6. ^ The Straight Dope: - Should you cut up six-pack rings?