The conversation of glass milk bottles vs plastic milk bottles is a recurring one with dedicated proponents on each side of the argument.
The plastic milk bottle was introduced in the mid-20th century, almost a century after its counterpart. Judging from the increased production and sales of plastic milk bottles, it is apparent that it offers benefits that interest the consumer.
However, the glass milk bottle, which is non-toxic and environmentally safe, is re-entering the market and society with new technologies adding to its numerous advantages by making glass less fragile and safer.
But are glass milk bottles better than plastic milk bottles? This post will highlight the benefits and limits of glass and plastic milk bottles while discussing their effect on various sectors.
Advantages of Glass Milk Bottles
Answering the question of whether glass milk bottles are better than plastic milk bottles requires an analysis of their advantages and disadvantages to consumers and the environment. Therefore here are some advantages of glass milk bottles:
Glass is Non-Toxic
No container or material-based product that stores food, beverages, or ingredients is 100% non-toxic. However, glass is one of the materials with the lowest toxicity levels. Glass has little or no reactive substances, decreasing any safety hazards associated with storing beverages in glass milk bottles.
The non-toxicity of glass makes it possible for milk to retain its taste without being chemically altered. Soda-lime glass is prevalent in the manufacture of most commercial glass products.
Composed of silica and 25 – 30% of soda ash and lime, the soda-lime glass and borosilicate glass (soda ash is replaced partly by boric oxide) are safe and non-toxic materials used in the production of glass milk bottles.
It is Recyclable
Glass is a recyclable material and can be recycled countless times. Glass bottles do not lose their purity or quality regardless of the number of times they are recycled.
Glass offers a fast recycling process that can return a recycled glass milk bottle to the market shelves in 30 days, which aids in protecting raw materials and prevents depletion of the earth’s natural resources.
Also, recycled glasses are safer for the environment as they reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. Additionally, the recycling of glass bottles guards against air pollution and CO2 emissions.
Glass Retains Milk Temperature for Longer Periods
Glass bottles or containers offer air-tight and high-pressure seals, protecting beverages from oxidation. Milk in a glass bottle retains its coolness for long periods outside the fridge.
As a result of this, the shelf-life of the milk increases, avoiding food wastage and increasing convenience for consumers.
Glass Milk Bottles Are Reusable
Arguably the best and most apparent advantage of glass milk bottles since their inception is that glass bottles can be washed, cleaned, and reused. Feeding bottles for babies are made from tempered glass and school children can now carry their milk using glass bottles.
However, plastic, too, may be reused, but considering the inert nature of glass and its little or no reaction with chemicals, it is the safest option for reuse.
Glass Milk Bottles Last Longer
Proper storage and handling of glass milk bottles increase their shelf life. Before being recycled, the milk bottles can be used for long periods. For some time, delivery of milk bottles was done in plastic crates to prevent breakages. Precautions like that increase the shelf life of the glass bottles and increase the number of times it is used before recycling.
Disadvantages of Glass Milk Bottles
As beneficial as glass milk bottles are, people still opt to buy plastic milk bottles. Here are some reasons why:
Glass bottles, even though strong and very solid, are fragile. A crack in the bottle may render the container and milk useless. Because of its fragility, children are hardly handed glass containers as they may not handle them properly.
But with the advent of tempered glass (or toughened glass), it is possible for glass to survive falls. Tempered glass bottles are stronger than standard glass bottles, making them less fragile and more durable.
The use of transparent glass milk bottles subjects the milk to oxidation from light sources. As much as the tightly sealed caps on the bottle prevent oxidation from the environment, important amino acids such as tryptophan and tyrosine are still affected by light entering the bottle through the transparent glass.
Some milk manufacturers and bottle manufacturing companies color their bottles to guard against light oxidation.
Advantages of Plastic Milk Bottles
The increase in production and sales of plastic milk bottles is due to some of these factors:
Plastic milk bottles do not crack or break easily. The HDPE (high-density polyethylene) used in the production of type 3 plastics makes them very strong, impact-resistant, and shatter-proof. The chemicals in other plastic types (PVC, LDPE, etc) also contribute to their resilience.
When plastic bottles fall they usually bounce or remain on the same spot. This makes plastic bottles easier to handle, and gives them an edge over glass bottles in the production of children’s bottles.
Malleability And Coloration
Plastic milk bottles are manufactured in various shapes and styles. This is because it is very malleable. The bottles become more attractive and attention-grabbing as a result of the different styles they can be designed into.
Handles and other additions can easily be attached to plastic milk bottles. They do not need to be painted as the coloration chemicals are mixed into the manufacturing process so that the colors are permanent and do not come off.
Plastic Milk Bottles Are Recyclable
100% of PET plastics, with some other plastic materials, can be recycled into different products such as fibers for carpets, other bottle designs, bags, materials for strapping, and so on.
Improvement in technology has increased the possibility of bottles made with a lesser amount of plastics, making them lighter and more suitable environmentally.
Disadvantages of Plastic Milk Bottles
Plastic milk bottles are thought to have more negative effects than glass milk bottles. These are some of the disadvantages of glass milk bottles:
Plastic Milk Bottles Are Dangerous
Plastic bottles contain compounds like heavy metals, phthalates, and fluorinated compounds that are dangerous to the body system. These compounds alter the quality of the milk when subjected to mild changes in temperature, and this adds to the health hazards of the bottle.
Also, if these bottles are not thrashed carefully the dangerous compounds may move into the water system, and as the bottle disintegrates over long periods, due to its non-biodegradable nature, it exposes the water creatures to great health risks.
The improperly disposed of plastic bottles are also a health hazard to land animals as they chew on plastic bottles regularly.
Plastic bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are manufactured with large quantities of fossil fuels. The use of fossil fuels in the process includes its use in transportation and other activities.
CO2 gasses which are emitted from fossil fuel usage contribute to air pollution, ozone layer depletion, and climate change. Plastic milk bottles, due to their biodegradable nature, take long periods to decompose and hence block water passages and outlets.
Short Life Span
An estimated 36% of plastics are used in producing single-use food and drink containers, and 85% of these plastics are finally trashed in landfills or uncontrolled wastages.
Plastic bottles are used for a short period of time before they are trashed or recycled, but with the increasing number of plastic wastes in landfills and in wastage, it is obvious more plastic bottles are trashed than recycled.
The short life span of plastic milk bottles contributes to unwanted garbage piled up in homes, offices, and the surrounding.
Plastic milk bottles constitute a fire hazard as they are easily melted because of their low melting point. The low melting plastic milk bottles also mean that chemical compounds from the plastics are easily melted into the content of the bottles.
Are Glass Milk Bottles Better than Plastic Milk Bottles?
The glass milk bottle vs plastic milk bottle discussion, in which the advantages and disadvantages of the two milk bottles are analyzed, has shown that despite the increased production and usage of plastic milk bottles, the glass milk bottles provide more benefits to the environmental, industrial and health sectors.
These are some ways which show that glass milk bottles are better than plastic milk bottles:
- Glass milk bottles do not create as many health risks as plastic bottles. The materials used in manufacturing glass are safe and do not melt into the content of the glass.
- Glass milk bottles are more reusable than plastic milk bottles. Glass milk bottles can be used more times than plastic milk bottles.
- Glass milk bottles are better options environmentally than plastic bottles. Glass bottles can be recycled countless times without losing their purity or quality. This is not the same for plastic milk bottles.
- Glass bottles retain the temperature of the milk for longer periods than plastic milk bottles.
Additionally, the disadvantages of using plastic bottles outweigh the advantages of using them.
Glass milk bottles offer a better option than plastic milk bottles considering environmental, industrial, health, and safety sectors. The use of a plastic milk bottle, however, designed and styled, exposes consumers to several dangers that could be prevented with the use of a glass milk bottle.
Roetell manufactures high-quality glass milk bottles perfect for storing milk to maintain its quality and taste. Our bottles come in different sizes with stylish marks and designs; you can contact us now for custom bulk orders!