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Difference Between Aluminum and Plastic bottles

Aluminum vs Plastic bottles

There are mainly two options to choose from when deciding on beverage containers, that is aluminum or plastic containers. They are quite different though on the outside, they may look very similar. And the differences between the two materials also result into varying effects they have on the environment, as well as on people.

Plastic bottles are made using a large quantity of petroleum, while aluminum bottles are made using refined bauxite ore. However, each type of bottle have certain advantages over the other. While plastic bottles contain BPA (bisophenol), aluminum bottles do not. BPA has been reliably been associated with a number of health hazards, most notable being the link with certain cancers.
The other difference is that while plastic bottles can be resealed after opening, you cannot reseal an aluminum bottle once opened. This makes plastic bottles more portable than aluminum bottles. Also, it means your contents will be less prone to contamination in a plastic bottle after opening the lid.

Plastic bottles in their standard size hold more fluid (20 oz) than aluminum bottles in their standard sizes (12 oz).Although certain types of plastics are not recommended for repeated use, most plastics are used more than once. Aluminum bottles also have a lining that prevents the metal from leaching the bottle contents, which may be harmful to users’ health.

Aluminum bottles keep liquids colder for longer hours than plastic bottles. They will also put up much better with hard use than plastic bottles.

Although both materials can be recycled, aluminum bottles are more efficient to recycle as 50% can be recycled compared to 10% of plastic. Because of petroleum used in recycling, plastic requires more energy to recycle hence, it becomes expensive to recycle over and over, while aluminum can be recycled several times because less energy is required. Also, the more plastic is recycled, the more it degrades in quality.

Summary
Aluminum bottles are made from bauxite mineral ore while plastic bottles are from petroleum.
Plastic bottles are bigger in their standard size than aluminum bottles (20 oz to 12 oz respectively).
Plastic bottles have replaceable lids while aluminum bottles cannot be resealed after opening.
Aluminum bottles are more efficient to recycle than plastic.


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3 Comments

  1. “Aluminum bottles keep liquids colder for longer hours than plastic bottles. They will also put up much better with hard use than plastic bottle”

    You’ve got that backwards. Aluminum is a thermal conductor, and plastic is a thermal insulator. So a cold beverage will more quickly equalize to the outside air temperature (get warmer) in aluminum than in plastic. The same is true if you were trying to keep the beverage warmer, you would still want the plastic.

    That is why a thermos or a food cooler are made of plastics and Styrofoam, and not metals.

  2. I am not sure if I agree with the following statement:

    “Aluminum bottles keep liquids colder for longer hours than plastic bottles.”

    In the article you seem to be comparing 20oz bottles to 12oz cans. At one point you remark that you can’t reseal cans. Not so; there are many can styles that can be resealed.

    But regarding the above quote, can you link to a study on this? Of course if you compare a 20oz bottle to a 12oz can, the bottle will warm faster since it has greater surface area than the can. If you used containers with similar surface area and surface-to-volume ratios, I would think that plastic would be the better insulator. This is, however, just speculation and would require data to prove or disprove my hypothesis.

  3. Aluminum has now been associate with dementia. It has all been eliminated from underarm deodorant. It has been suggested by many authorities to stop using kitchenware made out if this material as well as aluminum foil. It has been connected negativly to functions of the brain. Stainless steel is, to my knowledge, still the best alternative.

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