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Plastic bottles replacing glass



As we look to reduce our consumption of plastic bottles and container packaging it seems illogical that a number of traditionally glass bottled items are now being replaced by plastic ones. In particular mayonnaise, sauces, and olive oil in supermarkets. I only buy glass bottled or tinned items if possible and glass always for olive oil. What is the experience of others? How does this affect consumer choice?


We may have a preference for glass, however it appears that for many of our everyday items there is often only one packaging option.

We rarely need to make the decision based on how the item is packaged.

For the retailer plastics save significant weight and or volume over glass packaging. Plastics are also suitable for a wider range of products that may react with the linings in tins.

This is not intending to justify the use of plastics in food packaging. Just a note that retailers are able to argue for plastics as a way to bring customers cheaper product. For the more cynical in the Choice Community, replacing glass containers with plastics while keeping the price the same saves on production and transport costs improving profits for the supplier and retailer.

Peanut Paste once came only in glass jars, now it’s plastic for the brand/s we purchase.

Perhaps more consumers need to ask for the glass jars back? The smaller jars with the yellow or white plastic lids are great for home made jams and mango chutney.


Other possible reasons are cost and breakages.

Plastic packaging has more recently been significantly cheaper than glass. The other factors is possibly glass is fragile and could break in the food production/manufacture and transport. I also expect that the lawyers/risk managers in the supermarkets also support plastic over glass as there are less risk to customers instore (e.g. broken glass from a dropped container being present on the floor instore).

I also prefer glass over plastic, but also realise that there are advantages and disadvantages over different packaging types. My perception is plastic is cheap, glass is quality. Thiz perceprion may be more about the packaging rather than the contents.

One also needs to remember no to focus on one particular aspect of a packaging type, but needs to weigh up the merits of each packing type when thinking which type one thinks is better.

It is also worth noting if we were all responsible for our waste, all plastic and glass could equally be recycled. Unfortunately many of both packaging types go to landfill or enter the wider environment.