Glass Bottles or Plastic Bottles?
There are two angles from which to approach this question:
1) Integrity of product
There is no question: glass is one of the most inert materials. This means it doesn't leach chemicals or interact with the liquid inside the product in any significant way. It doesn't matter if the liquid inside is highly acidic (like juice) or highly alcoholic (like Absinthe), glass doesn't interact with the beverage, making it an incredible carrier. Plastic, on the other hand, is known to leach chemicals, and exposes beverages to 'microplastics.' There are no long term studies on how these 'microplastics' (in particular) affect human health. In fact, some shorter term studies show a relationship between microplastics and cancer with other endocrine inhibitory effects, so probably best to stay afar.
2) Impact on environment
Several analyses taking into account manufacturing emissions, transportation emissions, and recycling emissions have come to the same conclusion: it takes way more energy to produce, distibute and sell a glass bottle than it does for plastic. Take a look at the data below:
However, there is one important aspect that isn't included in the graphic above: scope of recycling. Glass can be recycled infinitely without any compromise in quality. Studies suggest that a glass bottle recycled 3 times roughly equals the green house gas emission of a single-use plastic bottle.
The trouble with plastic: there is a physical limit to how much and which type can be recycled. In fact, only 9% of plastic is recycled. The rest finds its way to oceans and landfills, irreversibly polluting the environment by leaching chemicals and rendering ecosystems inhabitable.
From a sustainability perspective, the case for single-use beverage containers of any type is increasing weak. The beverage container of the future is one that is inherently designed for recycling, and there are few materials which are easier to recycle than glass (aluminium being one of them).
At HaTa Bevtech, we co-pack beverages exclusively in returnable glass bottles with aluminium ring-pull caps. We are equipped to handle, sanitize and recycle used glass bottles, thereby saving several hundred kilometers of fuel and processing cost with each cycle of (re)use.
Message us on firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.