Ah the “Good Ol’ Days” when you could hear the milkman coming down the road with the empty milk bottles rattling together. How about your mother or grandmother returning from the store with the weeks groceries in a cloth tote sack. Do you remember getting a cold bottle of Pop from a drink box for a dime? Did you ever quench your thirst from the green garden hose in the yard? Oh how things have changed, but are they changes for the better? Milk no longer is delivered to your door, instead you go buy it at the Super Market in plastic bottles, and those groceries are packed in plastic bags for you. Those “soda” machines now dispense your choice of drink in cans or plastic bottles for a dollar, and I don’t know anyone that quenches their thirst from the garden hose, instead they drink pre bottled water at a buck a throw.
Somewhere along the years plastic became the better, safer, healthier choice. Glass was breakable and had to be returned for cleaning, sterilizing, and refilling besides glass bottles were so heavy. Think about how many things we drink that are bottled in plastic; milk, soda pop, juices, oh and let us not forget all those energy drinks, but by far the most popular being water. Fifty years ago tap water was ok to drink but as pollution spread, water treatment could no longer keep up so water suddenly became available in, take with you, plastic bottles. “Mountain Water”, “Fresh Spring Water”, “Well Water”, water from fresh sources; mountain lakes, rivers, and streams. Today presumably due to demand some of those bottles are now filled with “filtered” water. Is it truly better; for you and tasting?
Glass vs. plastic! It is projected that it will take 700 years before plastic bottles begin to break down this is largely due to plastic bottles being a petroleum product, 1.5 million barrels of oil a year. 300 million tons of plastic (water) bottles wind up as litter in landfills, and eight million tons find their way into the oceans. There is an area of the Pacific Ocean known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, an area the size of Texas composed of plastic. Those making such predictions claim that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Plastic can be recycled but sadly many local waste management companies must be paid to recycle. There are groups that are doing something, mostly grass roots groups but there are some large scale groups. One is recycling plastic into bricks that are used to build schools. Glass bottles once broken cannot be recycled. Maybe not returned as a glass bottle again but at least one company is mixing broken glass with rubble, busted up old cement, and crushed toilets to replace gravel in building roads.
So, do drinks taste better in glass or plastic? While you ponder your answer consider the impact of each on the environment. Meanwhile I went shopping yesterday and plastic bags are no longer allowed so I brought my groceries home in a cloth shopping bag and I am going to the refrigerator and settled down with a good book while I drink a root beer, Oh it still comes in glass bottles.