Plastic vs. Glass for Packaging Your Product – the Pros and Cons

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Product packaging is an important step in the whole process. However, there is always a question about which material is best for packaging. That being said, today we will talk about how glass and plastic compare to each other and which one is better. This is a topic that has a long-lasting debate in the industry. On that note, we will go over both glass and plastic and how they compare to each other in multiple areas. Although both materials are widely used in many industries, it is hard to say with certainty which one has the upper hand over the other. We will try to dive deeper into the topic and provide you with additional detail hoping to find the right answer.

If this is something you are interested in or if you are searching for the answer because you are working in the packaging industry, we will do our best to help you out. Now, let’s not waste any more time and dive right into this article.

Glass or Plastic

When you start comparing glass and plastic, you will see that there are many major differences. The first thing that is quite noticeable when you put glass against plastic is that the reusability of glass is much better. For example, glass bottles are perfectly reusable. The only thing you would have to do is wash it after each use if it is required. This is great for households as you always have a glass bottle if you need it for something. Furthermore, glass also comes above plastic in the sphere of health and safety. Plastic releases harmful chemicals after a certain period of time so reusing plastic containers is not recommended. Glass however does not have that problem. When it comes to recycling, both glass and plastic fail to meet the desired percentage.

The problem with recycling is that most people simply do not do it. Recycling is crucial as the material that is not recycled just ends up polluting the environment. Additionally, in the case when glass is properly thrown away for recycling, there is always the problem of people throwing colored glass together with regular glass. This way, the recycling process is simply not possible and manually picking out the colored glass from the bin is neither time nor cost-efficient.

Furthermore, when it comes to bottle filling industries, both glass and plastic bottles are used. That being said, both have their specific uses. First of all, plastic bottles are much easier to transport compared to glass bottles. Also, for example, an automatic bottle filling machine sometimes needs to be adjusted for glass bottles as they are more fragile. Additionally, glass is also much heavier compared to plastic which is really important for transport. Because of this, plastic is used more in certain industries.

Health Hazards

When it comes to health impacts, glass is definitely a better option compared to plastic. If it is not kept or stored properly, plastic will begin to release harmful chemicals into the contents of the container. On the other hand, glass has a high resistance to leaching. This means that even if you have something stored in a glass bottle, you will not have to worry about harmful chemicals being released into the contents.

However, this does not mean that plastic should be avoided at all costs. Not every plastic is the same. Some types of plastic last longer compared to other types. Plastic that is used for certain products is specifically made to withhold it without issues. It will be perfectly fine as long as the expiration date does not pass. Another problem that might happen is if the containers were not properly stored during transport. This can include wrong temperatures or physical damage to the containers. Misusing plastic containers is the major cause of health hazards that generally occur.

If you understand these things and know how to safely reuse plastic containers, then you are good to go. Just keep in mind to not reuse them too many times. Every plastic container has its limits. If you go past that, no matter what you do, the harmful chemicals will start to release from the container.

Conclusion

All in all, it is impossible to say which is better. Both plastic and glass have their own purpose and specific uses. There are situations in which glass is simply not a viable option as well as some situations that plastic cannot be used. It is important to mention that both materials have their place in the packaging industry. Even though glass is better for reusing, when it comes to transport and fragility, plastic is a much better alternative. No matter what, the most important thing is that the containers are not misused and kept according to the safety standards and in the end that they are recycled properly.