3 Reasons to Use Glassware Instead of Plastics or Metals


There are many who would argue the benefits of plastic. Indeed, plastic has its benefits and uses, for a moment. Depending on the quality grade and application of the plastics being used, that could be anywhere from a few seconds to a few years. Switching to glass containers offers more than just a few benefits to your health and the environment. So the next time someone argues the merit and longevity of plastic, stick up your fingers one at a time and throw out these 3 key facts:

#1 – Plastic is made from petroleum, and is slowly taking over the oceans of the world

After years and years of pushing to save the earth’s precious oil reserves by blaming automobiles for oil consumption, which still is important for numerous reasons, it seems hypocritical to make items using plastic that could just as easily be made from glass. Why? Approximately 8% of the world’s oil production is utilized to manufacture plastics (4% is used just for the energy to make it). That plastic bottle, is petroleum. That thick packaging around products at the store that is so difficult to get open? That’s petroleum too.

How do you think these petroleum products are disposed of when their usefulness is done? Many are recycled, but a huge number of them end up in our landfills, or even worse, in the ocean.  Throughout the world, there are literally 5 floating “swamps” of trash and plastic called gyres. Glass is made from blown quartz sand (or silica), so it breaks easier than plastic as we all know, and over a much shorter amount of time is ground back into, that’s right, sand. So if you are ever stuck on a desert island, and want someone to receive your message 1000 years later, use a plastic water bottle. Chances are good that it will be washed up somewhere.

#2 – Water filters and glass containers are cheaper

Any idea how many bottles of water we purchase every year? By the gallon, water can actually me more expensive than gasoline. Buying your water in plastic bottles is an unnecessary and expensive option for getting purified water for you and your family. As surveyed numerous times, a home water filtration system or whole home purification system, though expensive to install ($5000 or more), can insure that you are regulating the purity of the liquids you drink and utilize for cooking, bathing, laundry, even cleaning… while also cutting down on the literal sea of swirling plastic in our oceans. Crazy to think that you could actually drink bottled water straight from your garden hose. You will probably save thousands over the course of a few years.

For people that don’t have 5K just sitting around waiting to be spent, switching to a water filter and glass container can save you one to two dollars for every bottle of water that you would have purchased, while helping to cut back on the need for more of cheap, toxic plastic. Numerous companies make glassware at reasonable prices that you can buy to replace your plastics, metals, and even tupperware that we use for saving left overs. Lifefactory is one my favorites because they have silicone sleeves around the bottles. They even carry glass baby bottles if you have a little one.

#3— Plastic and even metal containers go bad

The overall life span of plastics and metals can potentially be a very long time. However, the overall time period the safe usage converts to dangerous usage in cheaper plastics is very short. As plastic gets older, it will leech Polychlorinated biphenyls (or PCBS) from a large family of man-made chlorinated hydrocarbons that won’t break down for a very long time, and as stated by the EPA have been shown to cause cancer, along with other negative effects upon our immune systems.

Metal containers, based on the grade of steel that is used, may be able to last a bit longer. It can even be melted down again to base metallic substances. But aren’t most of us trying to get heavy metals out of our lives? If you’ve ever peeked inside of an old metal cup or cantina, the discoloration and rust should be enough to make all of us think twice before using a metal container for our liquids.

Share with friends or relatives. You’d be surprised at the impact you can make on the health of the ones you love, simply by informing them.

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Sources for this article include:

1.) The 5 Plastic Gyres

2.) EPA on Polychlorinated biphenyls

3.) Time Magazine – Percentage of trash in the US that is plastic

4.) EIA.gov – Estimated US overall plastics consumption