The writer works in the F&B industry.
After reading the news on how our local police may have the authority to order liquor to be sold in plastic containers or tins instead of glass bottles, here are some view points to which we may critically access the case deliberate ethically.
Plastic, is indeed a revolutionary material that has pretty much altered the way in which we live our lives. It is cheap to produce and it is easily recyclable (where people are bothered to do so of course).
I remember reading about how Heineken; the official alcohol sponsor for the 2012 Olympic Games, would produce millions of plastic bottles to store their beer for distribution during the Games for environmental reasons. However, why are they not continuing to produce more of such plastic bottles of beer for sale after the Olympic Games?
Why don’t we see them (plastic bottled beer) being sold elsewhere around the World?
Instead we only see beer being distributed or sold in plastic bottles and cups during selected festival events in places such as the UK or Australia.
One of the main reasons why beer is preferably not stored in plastic bottles is because plastic is a great deal more porous than glass or even tin. What this means, is that beer or soft-drinks should go flat faster in a plastic bottle than in a glass bottle. Another reason relates to how plastic may potentially leach into our drinks and ruin the taste of beer.
Glass on the other hand preserves the flavour of the beer. It is the most neutral and natural of packaging material to preserve the natural taste of any storage of food; solid or liquid. (I had done a few research on this to find better ways of packaging and preserving our food-products)
I would rather not employ the use of tin cans for storing beverages – mostly because of corrosion and weight.
As opposed to tin, aluminium cans are better. Why? Because like glass, aluminium cans are relatively impermeable…making it one of the ideal storage container for beer. In a standard aluminium can, they are mostly coated with a special polymer that specifically helps to reduce the risk of aluminium leaching into our beverage. However, we cannot discount the fact that among other things that are considered good. There are evidences to suggest that elevated aluminium levels within the human body may lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
My material of choice would still be: glass. It is the material best suited to store beer. Apart from usability, the ease of recycling glass surpasses other contenders. The next best material would be the use aluminium cans over tin-cans. The least favourable material to store beer would be plastic.
I would not recommend that we enforce producers of beer to start selling their beverages in plastic bottles because of these and other reasons.
But let’s push the envelope further! Why don’t we return to the good ol’ days of drinking in wooden cups and perhaps…mini-wooden-barrels of beers? Someone may just get the best innovation award by selling mini-wooden-barrels of beer!
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