Glass Packaging: Sustainable?
Author: Elise Bernstein/ Environmental Educator
In 2020, researchers at the University of Southampton looked at the relative environmental impacts - from raw material extraction through use and final disposal - of glass and plastic used in beverage packaging. The LCA assessed 1-liter beverage s into three categories: fizzy drinks, fruit juice and milk. It examined glass bottles, aluminum cans. The assessment focused on 11 “impact categories” within the three beverage groupings, ranging from eutrophication to global warming potential to toxicity for humans. The glass bottle had a higher negative impact than the typical packaging alternatives for each beverage across nearly all impact and beverage categories., milk cartons, Tetra Pak, and two types of plastic bottles, polyethylene terephthalate and high-density polyethylene.