Why Manufacturers Are Preferring Plastic Over Glass

Numerous factors drive a manufacturer’s choice of material for making a product. Although most of the packaging industry began its journey with glass packaging, today’s reality is – plastic rules the modern-day packaging world. While both plastic and glass materials have their pros and cons, every material is not suitable for every product.

As far as recyclability is concerned, plastic is not always the first material that comes to one’s mind. However, various studies have proven higher efficacy of plastic over and above glass, particularly for the food and beverage industry.

There are several good reasons why manufacturers continue to choose plastic material over glass for packaging. Have a look at some of them below:

Weight and durability

We all know that glass is more fragile and heavier than plastic. Due to its heavyweight, glass materials make transportation more expensive. For this reason, the losses during transportation will be more leading to decreased profits.

Plastic, on the other hand, is shatterproof. It is much lighter and more durable compared to glass. Suffice to say, it is cheaper to transport. Additionally, plastic is more flexible when compared to glass. Flexibility makes it easier to be molded allowing brands to build an identity with unique packaging.  

Health and safety

Since it is fragile, glass tends to shatter leading to a potentially messy and dangerous situation. Moreover, the shards that are left behind create a safety hazard. This affects people working in factories, retail, transportation, and finally the consumer. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, in contrast, is the greenest and cleanest type of plastic that is also unbreakable. 

Filling process

Plastic packaging is beneficial to manufacturers when it comes to the filling process. There is much less breakage when using PET containers than glass. As a result, it reduces both liability and downtime for manufacturers.

Ease of use

When it comes to convenience and ease of use, plastic is the logical choice. Providing consumers with plastic packaging options allows them to carry your product wherever they want to use it – to the beach for instance, where glass is prohibited. Consumers today are often on-the-go. Hence, addressing their needs through plastic packaging can help augment the sale of your product.

Same look and feel

Plastic containers have gradually moved forward in the game for their ability to mimic glass packaging in both look and feel. By increasing the gram weight of PET containers and mimicking the styling of glass jars and bottles, manufactures can uphold the same look and feel that consumers are familiar with while enjoying all the benefits that plastic offers. This can be seen specifically with packaging for foods such as salsa, peanut butter, sauces, and dressings.

Practical benefits

The brand image that the manufacturers are trying to convey via packaging is another important factor in choosing their packaging material. Glass is associated with higher-end, luxury goods, while plastic and paper are considered as more disposable. Yet, when plastic packaging is used, it has some clear benefits over glass.


To sum up, plastic packaging poses much less of a danger if dropped than glass. This makes plastics better for children, seniors, and for anyone with potentially reduced motor skills. Plastic packaging is extremely beneficial for various products consumers often handle, such as supplements and condiments. So it’s quite clear that today most manufacturers look to plastic packaging to contain their products. In this war between plastic and glass, plastic is most certainly the winner.

Glass vs Plastic: Top 3 Factors That You Must Consider While Packaging

You’d feel surprised to know that it only takes 7 seconds for a customer to form an impression about the product you’ve on offer. Most importantly, it takes just a fraction of that for a consumer to evaluate your product among others on the shelf.

It has often been found that customers often don’t try a product, rather judge a book by its cover, or in this case, the product by its container. Unarguably, the packaging material plays a significant role in this. Glass and plastic containers make up the vast majority of the bottles, jars, and jugs on the shelves.


Here is a list of top 3 factors that’ll help you decide which is better for packaging, glass or plastic.


Customer’s Perception Between Glass vs Plastic

Consumers perceive a difference in quality in glass and plastic. According to a 2015 study, consumers believe that food products packaged in glass had a higher level of satisfaction among the customers than the same product stored in plastic.

The simple reason is that glass offers a premium experience in the look, feel, and weight that’s often essential for luxury products like fruit juice containers, craft cold brew, and other products that need a sophisticated image for marketing.

On the contrary, glass is prone to breaking. Plastic offers durability and ease of use. It also tends to be less slippery than glass and can be easily molded into a variety of shapes and sizes, such as a neck with ergonomic finger moulds for better grip and easy handling.


The Difference in Characteristics and Chemical Compatibility

Glass offers inertness and impermeability that’s ideal for sensitive products in the pharmaceutical or personal care industries, as well as liquids that are required to be stored for long periods of time, such as spirits and other alcoholic beverages.

Glass is less permeable to carbon dioxide and oxygen when compared to plastic, and keeps products fizzy and bubbly for a longer duration. To top it all, glass remains unaffected to sudden temperature changes and doesn’t warp under pasteurization.

Needless to mention that plastic is versatile. It comes in a range of varieties like polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and much more.

Each of the materials has unique chemical compatibility properties, temperature rating, and impact resistance. With so many options already available, it’s hard that you’ll not find a plastic product suited for your product and use.

Environment Factors and Recycling

Despite the fact that glass requires more resources and energy for production and shipping, it’s 100% recyclable. It means that every time glass is recycled, there’s no fall in the recycled product quality.

Additionally, glass can be reused as it can be easily washed and sterilized. On the other hand, plastic too can be recycled, but the recycled product’s quality falls after each cycle.

According to studies, glass makes up 5% of the garbage n the United States, meaning that even though it’s recyclable, it finds its way to the landfill. Plastic, on the other hand, contributes to 20% of garbage in a landfill. So, its quite evident that glass is more environment-friendly and easy to recycle.

So, here were 3 essential factors that you must consider while packaging your products. Let us know in the comment section if you’d like to add any. Also, let us know what you would prefer to package your product, glass or plastic, and why.