The emergence of Glass bottle packaging has a rich history and dates back to the 1600s. However, the invention of the glass bottle blowing the machine in 1880 helped industrialize the manufacturing of glass bottles and therein rose the wide popularity and usage of Glass bottles with several beverage industries ranging from milk and sodas to wine, whiskey and other spirits originally utilizing glass bottles as their source of packaging their products for user consumption.

Although in today’s world of plastic-dominated bottles and packaging, spirits continue to be sold in their original glass bottle packaging whilst the majority of other beverages including milk, soda, fruit juices and coffee are now dominantly sold in plastic bottles, aluminium cans and tetra pack cartons. Other varieties of bottles are also available and you can read about them on BottleAdviser. But are plastic and other packaging forms a better and more viable option than glass bottles? Do they pose a threat to the preservation of our environment? Or should we continue to utilize them in long run?

These are some of the questions we shall further discuss upon in this article, the answers of which every consumer must be aware of in order to make more rational decisions while purchasing their choice of packaging for the product in order to help create a healthier environment.

Plastic Vs Glass Bottle: A Detailed Comparison

First off, one of the major reasons for a spike in popularity of using plastic bottles over glass and other containers is due to the fact that plastic bottles are far cheaper to produce than glass and other containers. The expensive costs of manufacturing and transporting glass, steel and other bottles are ultimately borne by the consumer, therefore, the cheaper prices of plastic bottles lure consumers into purchasing them.

The demand for cheaper plastic alternatives leads to several industries opting for plastic-based packaging than glass, steel, and others. However, such preference is highly concerning since it does not pose be a safe alternative for the environment.

In terms of recycling, research shows that Glass bottles are 100% recyclable and despite being highly fragile, it possesses great durability allowing it to last longer and enable consumers to further store other liquids and commodities within the glass bottles.

Glass bottles can easily be sterilized for further use and do not release any toxins or chemicals in the liquid stored within. This provides consumers a true taste of their beverages. In fact, research further states that Coke, sodas and other beverages taste better in glass bottles than other packaging forms. For instance, Aluminium cans possess polymers that react with the liquid present inside and absorb a small amount of flavour from it thereby slightly altering its taste.

Plastic bottles could possibly transfer acetaldehydes to the liquid present within which again causes a slight distinction from its original flavour. Glass bottles on the other hand do not tend to have any such chemicals reacting with the liquid present within to alter its taste which helps prove the fact that if consumers wish to enjoy the purest form of a beverage, Glass bottles are your best choice for the best tasting experience.

Although Glass may be recycled, not only do Glass bottles require high amounts of energy and natural resources to produce, it takes nearly up to one million years for glass to decompose in the environment and could possibly take even longer if dumped in a landfill. Therefore repurposing glass bottles at your home to store other liquids, food items or painting them to use as decor is a more rational decision than simply dumping them to waste due to its long decomposing cycle.

When we talk about plastics, however, not only do they have intense Carbon emission rates but only up to 9% of plastic is actually recycled. Comparing this to the high Glass bottle recyclable rate, Plastic bottles fallback from a long shot. Moreover, Recycling is a difficult task due to the fact that plastic bottles tend to deteriorate in quality when recycled and cannot be treated as anything else more than waste. Speaking of which, once disposed of, plastic bottles can take up to more than 450 years to decompose which may be lesser than the disposal time period of Glass bottles, however, we must mention that Plastic bottles tend to release extremely toxic chemicals into the environment during its decomposing period and turn into microplastics which if released into water bodies and soil, could very well pollute and drastically contaminate our environment. The repercussions of this will be ultimately borne by us humans and the wildlife present around. Moreover, even when plastic bottles are incinerated it releases highly toxic fumes along with Carbon Dioxide which further pollutes the air we breathe and harm our health in the long run. In terms of statistics, nearly 5.9 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide was emitted by plastic incineration in 2015 and by the year 2050, it is estimated that plastic incineration could possibly emit up to 2.8 gigatons of Carbon Dioxide per year. Such continued levels of emission would not only damage the environment tremendously but also put human health at major risk. Safe disposal of plastic bottles continues to be a huge challenge to date.


Therefore, to finally conclude the long-debated question, It is true that Glass bottles are certainly better than Plastic and other bottles. Despite Glass having an extremely long decomposition time, Glass bottles are certainly more durable and long-lasting. They can be reused for an array of purposes to help benefit consumers even after their initial usage and do not tend to harm the environment by toxic chemical emissions. Furthermore, the usage of Plastic bottles should be reduced or eliminated entirely due to its harmful properties and inability to be disposed of easily. Hence, promoting the idea of minimizing the usage of Plastic bottles must be widespread among consumers in order to effectively conserve our environment in the long run.