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What Are Bottles Made Of

Jun 24, 2008
Glass has all qualities required for long-term storage. It also eventually gave rise to "cheteau bottling," the practice where an estate's wine is put in bottle at the source, rather than by a merchant.

Glass bottles afford highly effective protection of their contents and are attractive because of their transparency and high gloss and the variety of shapes attainable. Fragility is a major disadvantage, and only coloured glass protects those products sensitive to the action of light.

Bottled water is the fastest-growing segment of the beverage industry, and the product is expected to pass both coffee and milk to become the second-most-consumed beverage (behind soft drinks) by 2004. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). More than half of all Americans drink bottled water; about a third of the public consumes it regularly.

While most people would argue that bottled water is healthier than convenient alternatives like sugared sodas or artificially flavored drinks, are the third of bottled water consumers who claim they are motivated by promises of purity (according to a 2000 survey) getting what they pay for?

BPA is a building block of many polycarbonate plastic resins and has been linked to hormone and gene disruption. While studies continue regarding the safety of BPA, many bottle companies have chosen to offer their plastic bottles without BPA, erring on the safe side.

BPA was declared to be a substance posing a danger to both human health and the environment. Health Minister Tony Clement also announced that following a 60-day comment period, the government would introduce legislation to ban the sale and importation of polycarbonate baby bottles in Canada.

Glass bottles can actually be cut with ordinary scissors. Hold the bottle under water, and cut like you normally would. Glass bottles and jars can be recycled endlessly. That means that unlike some other recycled products, a recycled bottle can be recycled into another glass bottle.

Glass bottles would make more environmental sense if they were refillable, as they are in parts of Europe and Canada. Yes, there are energy costs associated with trucking the empty bottles back to the brewery.

PET plastic, which is used for commercial convenience water bottles such as Deer Park or Fiji is designed only for one use. PET evidently does not contain DEHA, and the carcinogenic properties of DEHA itself are hotly debated.

PET has become the material of choice for bottled beverages because it is lightweight and shatter resistant, and PET has been extensively tested for safety. Bottles made with PET are widely used for everything from water and fruit juice to soft drinks and even beer.

HDPE's good chemical resistance allows it to be used in containers holding household or inductrial chemicals. The pigmented resin has even better crack resistance and chemical resistance than the unpigmented resin. HDPE lends itself readily to silk screen decoration.

While HDPE provides good protection at below freezing temperatures, it cannot be used with products filled at over 160?F or products requiring a hermetic (vacuum) seal.
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