Is Glass Or Plastic Better For The Environment?
Most people would say that plastic bottles are an environmental problem especially when they are discarded in oceans or littering tourist trails. However, they are not a problem if they are recycled or reused.
Many people would say that glass packaging is more environmentally friendly than plastic because glass is a more natural substance and requires less energy to manufacture and/or recycle. People also think that all plastics leach toxins into the contents of their containers.
However, glass is not all it is cracked up to be for the following reasons:
- It breaks
- It costs more to ship
- It is more expensive to recycle
- Glass takes twice as much energy to produce
- More pollution is created in manufacture, shipping and recycling of glass
- Glass creates more than 6 times the global warming gases than plastic
The cons of using plastic packaging are:
- Litter (but people throw glass away too)
- Some plastics can leach chemicals
- Some plastics contain PVCs
The fossil fuels required to generate the very high temperatures needed to form glass are just one of the considerations.
Clearly there are some products that definitely need glass, but plastic is much for the environment in many cases.