Glass vs. Plastic

The question of glass versus plastic is common and when caps and enclosures are also included, there are literally, thousands of container possibilities.   When customers choose Amen Packaging for a packaging solution, many customers ask us:

"When would you recommend glass versus plastic or another container?  What is the right choice for my product?"

 (Glass vs. Plastic)

Each has its benefits and each has its disadvantages. What's most important is the appropriate package or container is chosen for YOUR product. Rather than focus on advantages and disadvantages, let's explore the individual attributes.

Plastic Characteristics

Plastic containers can be manufactured in many sizes and shapes.  Plastic can be molded into a size as small as a 15ml clear vial to a common 5-gallon water jug for food grade products.  Plastic provides packaging for food grade spices, to fertilizer applications.  

Plastic is inherently cheaper to manufacture, and in a very lightweight volume density.  This makes it most cost-effective from an acquisition and shipping logistic basis.  Plastic containers are easier to ship.  Plastic also provides for better ability to provide thermal insulation.  However, it is also affected by extreme temperature variations (especially when packaging extremely hot liquid products).

Glass Characteristics

Glass is an excellent choice where it's important to preserve your product and not expose the containers compounds to your product (such as plastic may do).  This is in large part because glass is not a petroleum-based product.  Glass is generally more heat resistant, can be washed and sterilized for ensuring food is not contaminated. 

Glass is, however, more expensive to produce.  And where it's inherent durability is achieved, it is heavy to ship and is fragile if not carefully handled.

But when using high-quality glass, can be much easier to silkscreen your products label/logo, etc.   Silkscreen containers of your product can differentiate it from competing products.

Environmental Considerations

Both glass and plastic can be recycled and in some jurisdictions are required to be recycled.  For further information see our Plastic and Recycle Information page.  Plastic is recyclable but doesn't break down in landfills so not as environmentally friendly as glass.  But plastic can be reused for other poly type uses (such as rugs).  Glass is re-usable (it can be washed, sterilized and refilled).  It is not petroleum based and can be crushed, melted and reformed into new glass. 

 

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