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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 concernsEdit

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, all six-pack rings around the world have been manufactured to be 100 percent photo-degradable,[citation needed] 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 2010, Saltwater Brewery developed eco friendly rings that are biodegradable and compostable (avoiding the threat to sea-creatures).[5]

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.[6][7]


  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. ^ "MIN=MAX: Sustainability". HI-CONE. Hi-Cone. 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  4. ^ "40 CFR Ch I." (PDF). Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  5. ^ Roy, Jessica (May 25, 2016). "Microbrewery's edible six-pack rings create eco-friendly alternative to plastic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Adams, Cecil (16 July 1999). "Should you cut up six-pack rings so they don't choke sea birds?". The Straight Dope. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Louisiana Fisheries - Fact Sheets". Retrieved 15 September 2010.