Comparing Aluminum Cans vs. Plastic Bottles
Go into any supermarket or convenience store these days and you will find racks and freezers filled to the bursting point with soft drinks in aluminum cans and plastic bottles. In most cases there are roughly equal numbers of both, but should there be? Is one type of packaging intrinsically better than the other? In this post, the CBD Beverage Blog team weighs the pros and cons of both types of soft drink containers to see which one comes out on top.
The Pros and Cons of Aluminum and Plastic
Below we’ll look at the pros and cons of each type of container to see if we can determine if one is better than the other, plastic first.
Pros of Plastic Bottles
The following are the points most often made by proponents of plastic bottles.
One of the biggest reasons plastic bottles are such a popular choice for soft drinks is the amount of product they can hold. You'll find lots of 2-liter plastic bottles of soda, but you won't find any aluminum containers of that size. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is likely price. It would cost a lot more to make a two-liter aluminum can that's strong enough to stand up to the stresses of shipping and storage than it would to make a similar size plastic bottle.
One big advantage plastic bottles have over standard aluminum cans is that they can be resealed. (Although some manufacturers are starting to make bottle-shaped aluminum cans that can be resealed, the numbers are still insignificant.) This point also harkens back to the volume argument we made above. You can easily reseal a two-liter plastic bottle, but how would you reseal a two-liter aluminum can? Fact is, you can't. Not currently anyway.
When it comes to plastic it’s in the nature of the material to be more flexible than aluminum. Plastic bottles can be slammed around pretty good during transport and while stocking shelves and be none the worse for wear. On the other hand, once an aluminum can is dented it's dented for good. Not only that but a dented can is less likely to sell.
Plastic bottles are cheaper to produce in quantity than aluminum cans, which makes the material extremely attractive to soda manufacturers looking to keep costs down.
Cons of Plastic Bottles
While it might seem that plastic is already a slam dunk winner in this head-to-head matchup there are a couple of significant downsides that must be considered.
Plastic is a petroleum product
Plastic bottles are made from crude oil and natural gas. In fact, it takes a quarter of a liter of crude oil to make a one-liter plastic bottle. Kind of hard to break the world's addiction to fossil fuels if the people marching against climate change are all carrying plastic water bottles made from crude oil.
The world is drowning in plastic waste
From overflowing landfills to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch the world is awash in plastic waste, and the problem gets significantly worse every year. Currently, 400 million tons of plastic are discarded annually with only 10% being recycled. If you care about the environment how can you purchase plastic bottles?
Pros of Aluminum Cans
Now let's look at the pros and cons of the kind of aluminum cans we use for our Sparkling CBD Soda.
Aluminum is BPA-free
You won’t find any bisphenol A (BPA) in aluminum cans. Bisphenol A is a compound found in most plastic bottles that has raised safety concerns among researchers. Several studies indicate a potential health risk from bisphenol A, including an elevated risk of some cancers.
Simply put you can do an awful lot more to burnish the image of your soft drink with an aluminum can than you can with a plastic bottle. Plastic bottles have a dull, utilitarian air about them that's entirely forgettable. On the other hand, aluminum cans can be printed from top to bottom with whatever colors and graphic images you choose. Just compare the look of our Sparkling CBD soda cans with your average 12 oz plastic bottle. No contest.
Whereas only 10% of plastic bottles are recycled nearly 50% of aluminum cans make their way to the recycling plant. For anyone who cares about planet earth that’s a huge difference. In fact, aluminum can be recycled endlessly which is why some 70% of all the aluminum ever produced is still in use in some form today. With plastic, it’s about 2%. In addition, the energy required to create recycled cans is only about 5% of the energy needed to make the original can.
Aluminum cans are impervious to light. While clear plastic bottles allow light to penetrate and degrade the contents, aluminum cans repel light. While this is not such a huge issue for soda, it is a certifiable big deal when it comes to something like fruit drinks.
Cons of Aluminum Cans
It costs a bit more to create an original aluminum can than it does an original plastic bottle.
When you weigh the immense environmental and marketing advantages, aluminum it becomes a clear winner over plastic.
Here at Colorado's Best Drinks, we care about the kind of world we're going to leave the next generation, which is one big reason why our Sparkling CBD Soda comes in environmentally-friendly aluminum cans. Show your love of planet earth by picking up some Sparkling CBD Drinks for the holidays.