Which is more eco-friendly...cans or glass bottles?
When trying to avoid plastic bottles, the choice often comes down to aluminum cans or glass bottles. Both aluminum cans and glass bottles are indefinitely recyclable, which is good. But there are other things to consider.
Aluminum cans are the most recycled item. They are easy to recycle, and are more recycled than glass bottles. The energy required to recycle a can is less than the energy required to recycle a glass bottle.
However, not all cans and glass bottles are 100% made from recycled materials. The industry still needs to produce new aluminum and new glass.
Producing virgin glass is more eco-friendly than producing virgin aluminum. Glass is made from sand and gravel. Aluminum is made from bauxite, which needs to be mined. Bauxite mining involves massive equipment that breaks into the earth while spewing dust into the atmosphere.
What about transportation? Glass bottles are definitely heavier than aluminum cans. So the carbon footprint is smaller for cans.
In conclusion, if you have to choose between cans and glass bottles, choose cans if they are made from recycled aluminum. If they are made from virgin materials, it might be better to go for glass bottles.
Finally, consider other aspects like the packaging, or where the drink comes from, and make sure to choose local.
In both cases, make sure to recycle them afterwards!
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Thanks for reading.