Why are alcoholic beverages often packaged in glass bottles?

Whether it is liquor, beer and wine, or foreign liquors such as whiskey and brandy, they can be packed in plastic [1] or paper containers. For example, alcohol of any concentration can be packed in containers made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate, referred to as PET or PETE) plastic. PET plastic will not be dissolved by ethanol and will not leach out. It is the most common plastic used in the world to store food and beverages (including various spirits).

Alcoholic beverages are generally bottled in glass for a number of reasons. First, in order to retain a pure taste, glassware can keep the taste of the beverages stored in it neutral, because glass is difficult to chemically react with various beverages, and both plastics and metals may inject various “flavors” into the liquid.

Glass can be either single-use or recycled. The glass cups used in bars can be reused after being washed. They are not only clean and sanitary, but also save a lot of money. The sand used for making glass is everywhere in nature and can be said to be inexhaustible. Moreover, glass is not easily degraded and can be used for decades without any problem. Empty plastic bottles are usually thrown away.

The third reason is psychological. Some plastic products in the past contained the toxic compound Bisphenol A (BPA). In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to issue warnings to the world about bisphenol A.

Compared with glass, plastic is more permeable, and alcohol stored in plastic bottles is more likely to explode. Oxygen and carbon dioxide cannot seep out of glass, so alcohol has a longer shelf life in glass bottles. If the beverage is stored for a long time, compounds such as ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid contained in the plastic are easy to penetrate into the beverage when the temperature rises, while glass bottles have higher Resistance to leaching. Glass bottles are also dishwasher safe and clean easily (visibly to the naked eye), whereas plastic or metal containers do not.

Pasteurization involves spraying boiling water over packaged beer to destroy any bacteria that may have survived the brewing process. Plastic bottles tend to deform during the pasteurization process, but glass bottles do not. While this can be avoided by using more wear-resistant plastic, this will certainly increase the cost.

In the impression of ordinary people, plastic is very cheap. Plastic containers are definitely inappropriate for higher-end alcoholic beverages such as wine, vodka, or craft beer, while glass gives a stylish, sophisticated, and sophisticated look.

The use of glass bottles for wine is also related to historical traditions. The manufacturing technology of plastic, aluminum or corrugated containers appeared later than glass, and the history of the latter can be traced back to 3,600 years ago [2].

Of course, glass also has disadvantages. One is that it is fragile, and the other is that it is heavier than plastic and is less portable.

Why are alcoholic beverages often packaged in glass bottles?

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