May 5, 2022

Bottles vs Cans

Bottles vs Cans

Glass bottles, aluminum cans and sustainability

While the question of whether beer tastes better out of a can vs a bottle is a matter of opinion, it’s clear most craft brewers have shifted to using predominantly aluminum cans over the past decade. There are reasons for this shift including cost, durability, ease of transport, and sustainability. But are aluminum cans really a more sustainable option compared to glass? The short answer is yes. There is a growing body of data that points to aluminum cans as the clear choice in sustainable packaging for beverages. There are several reasons for this.


Aluminum is one of the most recycled materials in the world. According to the Aluminum Association, more than 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Recycling aluminum cans requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum, and the recycling process produces only 5% of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with primary production.


Aluminum cans are much lighter than glass bottles, which means they require less fuel to transport. This not only reduces transportation costs but also decreases the carbon footprint associated with shipping beer.


Aluminum cans are easier to stack and store than glass bottles, which means they take up less space in trucks and warehouses. This allows for more efficient transportation and storage, reducing the overall environmental impact of beer packaging.


Aluminum cans are more durable than glass bottles, which means they are less likely to break during transportation, reducing the amount of waste associated with damaged packaging.

Life Cycle Analysis

A life cycle analysis of beverage containers conducted by the Aluminum Association found that aluminum cans had the lowest environmental impact of all packaging options, including glass bottles, PET bottles, and cartons.

how recycling aluminum cans makes them even better

As noted above, aluminum cans have higher recycling rates compared to glass or plastic beverage containers. While we love the idea of less waste in our landfills, another major benefit of recycling is that making new cans from recycled aluminum takes far less energy compared to making cans from raw material. So, recycling not only reduces waste, but also reduces energy consumption. Given the key role craft breweries play in local communities, your brewery is a great venue to educate and encourage your patrons to recycle.


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