Plastic or glass? What bottle do we choose? – Italian Cuisine

Plastic or glass? What bottle do we choose?

The water it is the most precious asset that man can have available. Without water there is no life. For this you must constantly take care of it. But what is the best path to take once you want to buy it?

Choose the one in the bottle? But plastic or glass? The water that flows directly from the tap at home? Or the one supplied by the "water boxes"? In short, the possibilities are there, just understand which is the best and be able to orient yourself.

But for this time let's focus on the often conflicting choice between plastic and glass bottles, a much discussed topic in everyday life, which emerges when we have to decide what to bring into our homes. Both glass and plastic bottles are suitable for maintaining the chemical-biological characteristics of the water while protecting taste and safety.

One ancient, the other modern

Glass is an ancient material: the origins of the bottle in this material dates back to 1500 BC, so much so that it seems that the most remote containers are attributed to the time of the pharaohs. However, it was from the mid-eighteenth century that bottles began to spread, with the increase in the production of quality wine or the invention of Champagne in France, which necessarily had to be stored in glass. Plastic, on the other hand, is a "modern" material: its century is certainly the 1900s, even more so the 60s, when it asserts itself in everyday life as well as in fashion, art and design. In this way, glass is overcome by this material, which is cheaper and easier to transport, and plastic bottles take over, making glass water almost a niche product, used above all in luxury catering. Contrary to what many think, plastic water is no less safe. PET bottles, if stored in the right way, do not in fact release harmful substances to the water.

pros and cons

Glass is a high quality packaging material, which manages to preserve the flavor and effervescence of a liquid, as well as being very safe from a health point of view. It can be disposed of through separate collection or, even better, the bottles can be returned to the seller and used again for the conservation and marketing of water. There in fact, a glass bottle can be reused even more than 30 times with the “returnable vacuum” system.

Plastic bottles, on the other hand, are much lighter as well as more manageable, moreover they are unbreakable and after use they can simply be crumpled and thrown away, without needing to be stored and returned to the store.

Today, attention to environmental sustainability and packaging and concerns about the use of plastic and the risks involved in using it are making a return to glass. In fact, plastic takes up to 1000 years to completely degrade, and if it is true that today we have increasingly effective recycling techniques (which however require an important investment in energy terms), we cannot forget that currently, in Italy, more than half of the plastic that is thrown away is not properly sorted, and then swells the mountains of waste that crowd our landfills. Seas and oceans are also invaded by single-use plastics, and this has serious repercussions on marine flora and fauna: all topics that cannot leave us indifferent.

The health risks

Unfortunately, the microplastics that pollute water have also entered food chains. We can't see them, but they show up invisible on our plates through both food and drink. If these are ingested by fish, molluscs and crustaceans, laboratory analyzes have also found them in mineral waters and soft drinks, honey and beer, all contaminated by the types of plastic most used in packaging. Using table salt alone, an adult risks ingesting about 2,000 pieces of microplastics in a year.
Reducing plastic is certainly possible, but to reduce the environmental impact it is also essential to reuse all that can be recovered by transforming PET, the polymer used for beverage bottles. It is a "noble" material which, if collected and treated properly, is infinitely recyclable.

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