Surprise! Beer cans are less polluting than glass bottles

People are increasingly aware of the loss of plastic waste to wildlife, and many would avoid buying single-use plastics if they could help it. But are plastic alternatives better?

Let’s look at an example – Fizzy drinks. You may believe that plastic bottles are the least green option, but is that always the case?

To know this, we Comparison Five different types of pressurized beverage containers. We have tested their environmental impacts according to several criteria, each contributing to climate change and each causing pollution during manufacture, use, and disposal.

Here they are ranked from worst to best.

Fifth place: glass bottles

This may come as a surprise, but the glass bottles actually ranked last in our analysis. You can instinctively reach for a glass bottle to avoid buying the plastic substitute, but glass takes more resources and energy to produce. Glassmaking involves the mining of raw materials such as silica sand and dolomite, and can release pollution that can occur when inhaled. Pulmonary status silicosis.

These materials also require high temperatures to melt, this is a process Powered by fossil fuels. During production, the glass releases itself carbon di oxide.

Our analysis found that most natural resources were used in glass bottle production, due to the sheer volume of the material. A glass bottle of one liter can weigh up to 800 grams, while a plastic bottle weighs about 40 grams. The extra weight means that vehicles transporting glass bottles consume more fossil fuels to deliver the same amount of liquid. For these reasons, we found that glass bottles have about 95% larger contribution to global warming than aluminum cans.

A crate filled with brown bottles with silver caps.