Coors Light eliminating plastic rings from packaging, local environmental groups react

Coors Light will stop using plastic rings in its packaging this year, their other brands will follow in the next few years.

By: Tim Studebaker

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Coors Light has announced they’ll stop using plastic rings in their packaging starting this year, in an effort to reduce waste.  Their other brands will follow in the next few years.  It’s a move met with praise from local environmental organizations.

David McLaughlin is the Program Manager at Clean Ocean Access.  McLaughlin says, “This change by Coors is a great example of what we call extended producer responsibility, where the producer is realizing that they really should have total responsibility for the total life cycle of the products that they’re making.”

The change is expected to prevent 1.7-million pounds of plastic waste each year.

McLaughlin says, “Businesses have an ultimate responsibility to reignite, reimagine, and reinvent their products and the way that they provide services to consumers.”

In an ideal world, product packaging would be minimal, fully recyclable, and always properly recycled, but that simply isn’t the case.

Jed Thorp is the Advocacy Coordinator at Save the Bay.  Thorp says, “Once that gets into the marine environment, it can get stuck around fish and turtles and shorebirds.  It’s certainly a problem.”

While this move by Coors Light is a start, Thorp points out it’s just one step toward solving a much larger plastic problem, sharing the numbers from a recent one-day shoreline cleanup.

Thorp says, “18,000 small plastic pieces, 8,000 plastic bottle caps, 6,000 plastic beverage bottles, 2,000 plastic bags, 1,000 plastic lids, over 1,000 plastic takeout containers.”

Thorp says that’s why environmental organizations are pushing for legislation to encourage or require more companies to make better environmental choices, like Coors Light has.

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Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island