This conversation is closed.

Is glass bottles a feasible option as an alternative for plastic bottles?

Obviously, it is much cheaper for big companies to use plastic bottles for their products over glass. The damage of plastic on our bodies and the environment is well researched and well known. There are many alternatives to the use of plastic bottles such as stainless steel water bottles for personal use, but what are the possibilities for big business. Is it economically feasible to switch production from plastic to glass bottles? Would the production of glass and the energy needed to create it outweigh the need to get off of plastic bottles? Or is it even a good idea in general to go back to glass bottles?
I've been wondering :)

  • Dec 10 2013: There may be some better alternatives to plastic but glass sure it not one of them. To many people walking out of the water with bloody limbs because they could not see the broken bottles on the bottom or in the sand. They are also an easy weapon in a bar or sports event. They also make great molotov cocktails. For people handling garbage it is a constant threat of injury. In a docile water environment they could last many years. We need something like plastic that breaks down faster in the environment. They are making better plastic with plant material, perhaps this is an answer?
  • Dec 8 2013: Corporations and private citizens alike typically do what's cheapest, not what's best for the environment.
    Glass has its fair share of problems (frail, heavy, a tenancy to get stuck in your foot once it shatters...), but the real reason plastic is dominant is mostly cost. I don't see us going back to glass, really.

    While I admit I'm not well informed on the health impact of plastics, I'm not sure glass is that much better for the environment. The energy used in its production is much greater than plastic (its also the primary reason its more expensive), and as the energy infrastructure is built today, that usually means burning more coal.
  • Dec 14 2013: I searched a little bit of the internet and i found that one glass bottle of 1L need approximately 90g of CO2 to be produce, against 216g for a PVC one.. ( So glass seems to be more ecological, but this point of view doesn't take into consideration recycling, or practical side of the product, because plastic still stay much more convenient: hefty, cheap, light ...
  • thumb
    Dec 10 2013: I'm not sure about glass, it takes tremendous amounts of heat/energy to make glass and it does break quite often. But I like the steel thing, maybe we could use that more.

    Edit: I researched a bit, here's a good article.
    • thumb
      Dec 10 2013: well, he points out in the article that you can filter your own water at home and then put it in your steel container. And it's much cheaper. So one would wonder why people buy throwaway containers, they just don't want to go the effort of filtering their water and packaging it themselves?
      • thumb
        Dec 14 2013: What I thought was that we replace Coca Cola plastic bottles and so on with Stainless steel containers... Of course refilling your own bottle at home is the best environmental choice... One that few wish to take the energy to do.

        Even though it costs more energy earning the resources to buy those plastic bottles then refilling the same bottle...
        • thumb
          Dec 14 2013: so every time you bought a Coke it would come in a stainless steel container? And when you finished the coke you would keep the container, or recycle it, or.....? I would imagine it takes a lot more input to make a stainless steel container than to make a disposable plastic, hence it would add a lot to the price, perhaps make the price prohibitive?
  • thumb
    Dec 8 2013: how do plastic bottles damage our environment and bodies?
  • thumb
    Dec 8 2013: Just in case you are not aware of this, many things that used to come in glass bottles now come in plastic. I assume that the heavier weight, frequency of breakage, and greater difficulty of transportation were some of the reasons that items that used to be made of glass have increasingly been made from plastic.
    • Dec 8 2013: Thanks but I am aware that glass bottles were replaced by plastic and I understand the pros of plastic bottles and cons of glass bottles, but I am wondering if there is a good way to get past these pros and cons for the good of the environment.