Jon Shell, a ceramics major at Tortuga State University for the Arts in Landlodge, Wyoming may be the next great inventor to go down in history. For his sophomore biology midterm, Shell fashioned a new kind of plastic soda ring, which won’t get stuck around turtle’s necks.
“I didn’t even expect to get an ‘A’ on this project, and here I am saving lives. I’ve never even been to the ocean,” he said about the subject in an interview with a local radio station. “I just thought, like, everyone likes turtles. How can I save the turtles?”
And Shell’s creation was born. His six-pack rings have a thin portion that is weak enough for turtle’s necks and flippers to break through, so that they can’t become entangled in the first place. The rest is made from traditional plastic. Shell already has partnerships with five well-known soda companies who have promised to utilize this new technology with their products.
“It’s amazing what the youths of America are bringing to the table nowadays,” said Brock Pop Jr., CEO of Pop America. “We care so much about turtles here at Pop America, and we’re willing to support anyone who holds those same values.”
Somehow, these miracle rings are still getting backlash. Anna Verde, an environmental science professor at Pescado College in California argues that the rings will do more harm than good.
“Most existing rings are made from a photo-degradable plastic, which take somewhere around 90 days to break down,” she explained, “whereas these new, ‘turtle-friendly’ ones are made up of the same kind of plastic in water bottles. They could take hundreds of years to decompose, and the microbeads will kill marine life and contaminate fish that humans consume. People could die. Seriously.”
But Shell isn’t letting these complaints stop him. “Pop America is pretty smart, and if they think my soda rings are good, then they’re good,” he said. “All I’ve ever done is care for turtles. 90 days is long enough to hurt a turtle. We need a quick fix, right now. It’s one step at a time. We can’t solve everything at once. Maybe I’ll save fish next semester or something.”
Pop can’t help but agree. Despite the current backlash, his company is set to implement Shell’s rings beginning this December.
“Listen,” said Pop, exasperated, “People think turtles are cute. No one cares about fish. Who even eats fish anymore? We gotta make our move. Our current rings are bad for publicity. If one more Pop America ring is pictured around a turtle, we’re done for.”
On top of saving turtles, Shell’s rings are almost half the production price of the average, photo-degradable rings. Not only are they saving the turtles, but they’re also helping the economy.
“Saving our image — I mean the turtles — and saving money, what more could I ever want?” said Pop. “Please don’t add that image part in there.”
What can’t Shell do? Be sure to check out new Pop America products with turtle-lovin’ rings at a grocery store near you in December.