Aluminium, glass and cartons might be as bad as plastic bottles for the environment


Replacing plastic bottles with aluminium cans, glass bottles or cartons will also damage the environment, according to a study by Green Alliance.

New research by the charity, Losing the bottle: why we don’t need single use containers for water, shows that shifting away from different materials to plastic will cause difference environmental problems.


It suggests that the only low impact option for hydration is a refillable container.

If aluminium cans, glass bottles or cartons were to become half as popular as plastic bottles are currently, this would cause:

  • enough toxic waste to fill the Albert Hall six times over (aluminium cans)
  • as many emissions as are created by a population the size of bath (glass bottles)
  • filling of nearly 9,000 bin lorries with low quality containers that can’t be recycled back into containers (cartons)

Green Alliance senior policy advisor on resources Libby Peake said: “‘Single-use’ was named word of the year in 2018 as the public became more aware of the impacts of our throwaway society. But so far, people are mainly targeting single use plastic and the concern hasn’t translated to other materials, which also have environmental consequences.

“If we don’t need single use plastic water bottles, we also don’t need single use cans, cartons, or glass bottles for water. The good news is, it’s easy to do the right thing when it comes to drinking water and the environment. Tap water in refillable containers is the most sustainable option, and is hundreds of times cheaper to boot.”

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