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, six pack rings were cited as a particularly dangerous form of marine litter as marine wildlife were found entangled in the rings, sometimes strangling to death. But since 1989, some six-pack rings in the US have been manufactured to be 100 percent photo-degradable, so the plastic will begin to disintegrate in just a few weeks, allowing animals to easily free themselves from the brittle and crumbling rings.[3] This is in accordance with the US Federal regulation for testing plastic photo-degradation, which is 40 CFR Ch. I (7–1–03 Edition) PART 238.[4] In 2016, SaltWater Brewery developed edible rings that sea-creatures could consume safely.[5][6]

Six-pack rings are now a relatively minor contributor to marine litter and wildlife fatalities. Fishing gear and other plastic wastes are a larger problem.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b ITW History Archived 2012-09-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Interest In Multipacks Picks Up". Food & Beverage Packaging. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2011-05-02.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "40 CFR Ch I." (PDF). Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  5. ^ Whittaker, G. Clay (May 19, 2016). "Edible Six-Pack Rings Could Make The Ocean Safe Again". Popular Science. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Roy, Jessica (May 25, 2016). "Microbrewery's edible six-pack rings create eco-friendly alternative to plastic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  7. ^ "Should you cut up six-pack rings so they don't choke sea birds?". The Straight Dope. 1999-07-16. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
  8. ^ "Louisiana Fisheries - Fact Sheets". Retrieved 2010-09-15.