It's no secret that plastic bottles are more common in the soda and pop industry than glass ones are. But why is this? After all, beer has been drinking out of glass for years—why not soda and pop? It turns out there are a few reasons why it's cheaper and easier to use plastic or metal instead. Here they are:
Acidity makes glass bottles (and glass in general) more likely to break.
We've all heard that glass is more acidic than plastic or metal, right? It's true, but what does that mean for how likely a bottle of beer will break when you drop it?
Let's start by taking a look at the chemical structure of each material. Glass is composed of silicon dioxide (SiO2) and has a pH around 8-9, while plastic can be made from either polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which has a pH between 4-5, or polycarbonate (PC), which has a pH around 6-7. So far so good—it seems like glass is definitely going to be more acidic than any other option out there. But why exactly does this matter?
Well, in short: acids cause materials to weaken over time because they interact with certain bonds within those materials and break them down! This weakening can make it easier for them to break under stressors like pressure or impact force—which means that if your soda bottle was made out of PET instead of PC then it'd be much less likely to crack when you dropped it on concrete. Not only do acids cause materials like glass and plastics weaken over time; they also increase their surface area while they're doing so!
Soda or pop is more acidic than beer.
You might think that soda/pop is more acidic than beer and this is why it’s usually bottled in plastic, but you are wrong. The truth is that soda/pop is more acidic than both beer and water—and once you get past the fact that neither of those things sound appealing to drink on their own, it starts to make sense why they wouldn’t want to store it in glass.
If you don’t believe me, look at what happens when you put a drop of lemon juice on paper:
It burns! Why? Because acid reacts with certain chemicals found in paper (pulp). So if your soda or pop has an acidic pH level below 4, meaning it's more acidic than water which has an average pH between 7-8 (depending on where you live), then it will most likely cause your bottles to break down faster!
Even carbonated water can cause glass bottles to break.
The pressure of carbonation can cause glass bottles to break. The pressure inside the bottle increases because there's carbonation in it.
The reason why soda and pop are not usually in glass bottles is because they are carbonated, which means that the pressure inside their bottles will increase if you open them.
Glass is too heavy for the soda/pop industry to bother with.
You might be thinking, “but glass bottles are so much more expensive than plastic or metal ones!” And you would be correct: they are. But it's not just that the price of glass is higher than plastic and metal; it's also that shipping a bottle takes up so much space in a truck.
Containers like cans and PET bottles are lightweight and stackable, which means they can be packed into a much smaller space than glass bottles. This means that soda companies save money on transportation costs—and those savings get passed onto you at the store!
NOT A SECTION: Beer bottle manufacturers have found ways to strengthen their glass bottles that soda companies haven't found yet.
The reason why beer is mostly bottled in glass, while soda/pop is almost always in plastic, is because of the different manufacturing processes involved. Beer bottle manufacturers have found ways to strengthen their glass bottles that soda companies haven't found yet.
It's cheaper and more environmentally friendly to use plastic or metal bottles instead of glass ones for soda/pop
- Glass is heavy and expensive to ship, while plastic bottles are lightweight and easy to transport.
- Glass bottles are more expensive to make than plastic ones, which makes glass-bottled beer more expensive than bottled soda/pop.
- Glass bottles are more difficult to recycle than plastic or aluminum containers, so they take up more space in landfills.
- Shipping costs for soda/pop sold in cans or bottles made from recycled materials are lower than shipping costs for glass sodas/pops sold in the same type of container (metal vs. aluminum vs. plastic).
So you now know why your soda and pop is usually not in glass bottles. It's not just because they're cheaper, but also because the industry has found that plastic or metal bottles are less likely to break due to their lower acidity levels (and thus higher carbonation).