Plastic six-pack rings may finally be on their way out and the change can’t come soon enough for sea birds and marine creatures, including marine mammals such as seals and sea lions. Indeed, it’s about time these plastic nooses joined metal “pull-tab” beverage cans on the ash heap of environmental history.
Plastic six-pack rings have a long and unhappy history. They were first introduced in the summer of 1960, and quickly replaced the metal- and paper-based can yokes used previously. By the late 1970s, however, marine life researchers had begun documenting terrible injuries suffered by a wide range of marine life caused by the near-indestructible plastic rings.