What’s Better? Plastic, Aluminum, or Glass?

Lets say your going to have a picnic. You go to the store to buy chips, sandwiches, fruit, and drinks. For drinks, there’s aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic water bottles. What’s better to buy?

You go to the store and walk into the drink aisle. there are hundreds of beverage containers lining the shelves. So many options! There are thousands of people buying those drinks everyday all around the world. But when they become empty, where do they go?


First off, what is plastic? According to Earth911.com

Plastic manufacturing starts off with oil and natural gas. These raw materials are converted into smaller pieces called monomers, and are then chemically bonded together to create long chains, known as polymers. These polymers are the plastic you see in the form of water bottles, food packaging, and much more.

To get to the crude oil and natural gas needed to produce plastics, we must head for the Earth’s crust. However, oil and natural gas are buried beneath layers of bedrock — that’s where drilling comes in. Drilling for oil in our pristine oceans and fracking for natural gas in America’s West is destroying our environment — and endangering our health.

Lauren Murphy, Earth 911.com

For plastic, only 9% of plastic is recycled in the US. The rest is used for energy, or sent to a landfill where it will live for the rest of its life until it decomposes 400 years later, or find its way out and pollute the planet. Plastic bottles are all around terrible, and you should try your best to eliminate them from your daily routine. Try your best to buy reusable water bottles and just really try to never use plastic water bottles.


Liquefied sand, soda ash (naturally occurring sodium carbonate), limestone, recycled glass, and various additives make up the glass bottles that hold our beverages.


For glass bottles, they are 100% recyclable and 80% of glass containers are turned into new glass bottles. Also, glass can be recycled endlessly, and never lose quality of the glass. When you throw your glass bottle into the recycling bin, manufacturers are able to have them back on the shelves in a month. Plus, you can reuse a glass bottle by washing it and refilling it with another drink. You can’t exactly do that with aluminum cans and plastic bottles. And even thought they take 1 million years to decompose, you can reuse a glass bottle until it breaks. Is dishwasher safe and they come in all sizes.


Aluminum is made from a mineral called bauxite.

We are currently recycling 45% of cans, even though they are completely recyclable, like glass bottles. Like glass, cans can be recycled repeatedly without losing quality. Unfortunately, new aluminum cans are not as eco-friendly. (The bauxite has to be mined and shipped which is NOT eco-friendly! But a recycled can is the best environmental choice. (Easier to ship than glass and less fragile).

So it comes down to aluminum and glass. Really, they are both good. They both have their pros and cons, but the best solution would have to be glass. They are completely reusable and easy to clean, and 100% recyclable. But, if a glass bottle is not available to you, an aluminum can is not as bad as a plastic water bottle. It is still completely recyclable and saves energy.

Hope this helps if you have to buy something off the shelf! It’s good to know this stuff when you are making your choices…

Glass, plastic, or aluminum? Pretty cool to see an aluminum water bottle! P.S. That plastic bottle has been an emergency dog water bottle used on hikes that has been refilled repeatedly for a few months now!

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