The chilled bottle of beer have never been more discussed before than the beer itself. In recent times, a host of food and beverage companies have shifted to plastic packaging from their traditional glass containers. Gerber, the ubiquitous baby food on the go had already moved to plastic containers replacing their iconic small glass vials (http://tinyurl.com/z3skoxw) and among others MillerCoors does it to beer (http://tinyurl.com/h5rxmwm). The probabilities of how plastic might leave petroleum after taste in rewed hops and how cheap a chilled plastic bottle appears to are high but then none of these possibilities came by since drinking water kept on being sold in plastic bottles. Perhaps touching the next best liquid to water was too much for mankind to ‘beer’.
The next relevant question, why then? The cost of production of a 16Oz is somewhat comparable for plastic and glass, in fact plastics a tad bit higher. But when compared with transport costs, plastic wins hands down. Talking about energy consumption in manufacturing, they are as comparable as the production cost, around 30MJ for each bottle. However the amount of toxins released during glass curing and manufacturing is way higher than that of plastic. The usage of fossil fuels for heating and treatment of either types of bottles are common and perhaps accounts for the greatest of natural impact. In recent times with increasing recycling, a big chunck of plastic are duly recycled. While 100% of glass bottles can potentially be recycled but the tedious sorting and cleaning process often does not make that a reality. Other factors like durability and weight makes glass less favourable in a changing market dynamics for a longer shelf life product.
So, green energy or otherwise if drinking the ‘fresh’ orange drink from ‘real’ oranges doesn’t matter if bottled in plastic containers, why would a beer matter As long as it is not served in plastic glasses, which source they are housed in, either the polymeric resin petroleum plastic or the ceramic silicate glass, none of it matters, in all honesty. Perhaps not chilling it enough would!
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