Glass vs. Plastic – Which is best for your printing needs?
As with many decisions in life, most come with at least two options. Beef or chicken. Full fat or low fat. Coffee or tea. Some decisions take a little more thought and there are variables that affect the final say. So here at Ren-Flex, we would rather help give you some facts so when you make that decision between glass and plastic, it’s built on knowledge, not on here-say.
From an environmental standpoint, everyone automatically thinks that glass is your most eco-friendly option but plastic has its fair share of positive properties. Both plastic and glass are in fact recyclable but just think about how glass can only be recycled and turned into more glass, while recyclable plastic can be recycled into a number of products.
Disadvantages of Glass Packaging
Glass is used in packaging many food products such as sauces, juices, oils and baby products, however, when it comes to packaging perishables, it does have its disadvantages. These include:
- Glass Weight
Due to the weight of glass and the material being a lot heavier than plastic, it makes transporting the glass packaged products more costly in load weight. Plus, more trips are needed, which affects the environment in a negative way. It is also heavier for the consumer, making the product less user-friendly.
- Glass is Fragile
Glass is fragile, making it easily breakable and when packaging food products, this adds in a lot of factors for the end consumer to consider. Consumers with small children have to keep glass products packed away from little fingers, in case of the bottle breaking and injuring the child, as well as losing the product with one bump. Glass is also more slippery than plastic packaging making it easier for the consumer to drop your product and losing money to have to replace food items on their shelves. From a brands perspective, this can also affect transportation of glass products, to limit the number of breakages during transportation one needs to pack the products more securely while making sure workers at all points manage your products carefully to keep damage costs low.
- Glass is Unsafe
Glass is also unsafe when broken compared to other plastic packaging. Broken glass can cut a consumer or workers skin and can at times, also be life-threatening in cases of contamination and diseases. This danger can affect the factory workers, workers during transportation, the staff at grocery stores and ultimately, your consumer.
Advantages of Glass packaging
- Glass is Recyclable
Glass is 100% recyclable and it can be recycled continuously without any loss in its quality and purity. 80% of the glass that is recovered is made into new glass products. A glass packaging container can go from a recycling bin into a new product within as little as 30 days.
- Glass is Impermeable
Glass is nonporous and impermeable meaning there is no interaction between glass packaging and the products inside, so it has no effect to the flavour of the food or drink. Glass also has almost a zero rate of chemical interactions, making sure that the food products inside the glass packaging maintains its smell and flavour.
Benefits of Plastic Packaging
Plastic packaging comes in many different sizes and shapes. This kind of quantity in variation already makes it a good choice for all those different storing and packaging needs. Here are some of the benefits of using plastic for packaging.
- Absorption of Flavours
This is an advantage for glass packaging but it can be an advantage for plastic packaging as well. Plastic is used to keep perishable items and as such it absorbs some of the smells of the food item, meaning foods with strong odours, like curry or tomato soup can be stored without its odour spreading throughout the grocery aisle, transportation and eventually, the consumer’s home.
- Advertising Your Brand
Plastic packaging materials are easier to print on compared to glass and there a lot more solutions in plastic packaging, as such it has become the most common material used for branding strategies. This lowers the cost and offers a wider variety of packaging solutions and enables you to promote your brand with ease.
- Plastics are Recyclable
Over 40% of plastic is recyclable, with this number increasing yearly and recycling plastic takes 88% less energy than making plastic from raw materials. Plastic can be recycled into many different products such as furniture, bags, fences, clothing and even sleeping bags, while glass can only be recycled into more glass products.
As you can see there are pros and cons to both materials and a lot to take into consideration before making a decision for your brand. Ren-Flex is here to help and find the perfect solution to your brand’s packaging needs.