Plastic Bottles VS Aluminium Cans - What Is Actually Better For The Enviornment?
The idea of replacing Plastic Bottles with easily recyclable Aluminium Cans sounds like a blessing for the environment, right?
Maybe not. Let’s dive deeper into it and see why.
Aluminium is made from a rock called bauxite. Bauxite has to be mined which leads to devastating effects on the ecosystem as it results in a lot of air and water pollution. Other than this, the entire mining process further causes a lot of health issues for both the miners involved and the residents of the surrounding communities.
After mining, the process of manufacturing usable Aluminium and converting that into cans uses a ton of electricity and also releases some chemicals that cause greenhouse gas emissions.
Aluminium cans cause less ocean/ water pollution than plastic bottles, but they come with their own cost to the environment. The production of one Aluminium can release twice the carbon dioxide into the air when compared to the production of a plastic bottle.
How often does anyone consume an entire bottle of any beverage in one go? Bottles, once opened, can be recapped and closed again after consumption of the required quantity. This prevents any kind of contamination, maintains the freshness of the product and makes it much easier to be carried/ transported. Aluminium cans, on the other hand, once opened can’t be recapped or closed again. This may not be very convenient for a lot of people. Although there have been newer technologies being applied to the manufacturing of cans nowadays, this remains true for most of them.
Plastic bottles can be manufactured, designed and produced in a different range of sizes, while cans are more limited in this aspect, making them not a very versatile choice for various beverage companies/ brands.
As you may be aware, Aluminium is much costlier than plastic so canned drinks will automatically mean higher prices for buyers. This is because as the general cost of raw materials rises for a company, it translates to the overall retail price of the product.
Be it Plastic bottles, or Aluminium cans, it can be inferred that no packaging type is without impact or environmental consequences. It, thus, means that the best and the least impactful choice has to be made, which for now is plastic bottles, from both the company and consumer point of view. We await newer technology, like biodegradable plastic, to be more environmentally friendly.