Glass Remains Valued by Consumers for Health and Environment Benefits

Posted: May 2, 2014

Health conscious (87%) and environmentally conscious (83%) American consumers trust glass bottles and jars to protect their foods and beverages and themselves from harmful chemicals often found in alternative packaging materials, according to a survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by Opinion Research for the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI).

“Glass is made from all-natural resources—sand, soda ash, limestone, and recycled glass—and with a 400-year history in the American marketplace, glass is the only packaging material ‘generally recognized as safe’ by the U.S. FDA for food and beverage contact,” says GPI president, Joseph Cattaneo. “Glass is the only packaging material that fully preserves the original taste of food and beverages.”

Consumers feel glass bottles and jars (60%) have the least negative impact on their health compared to other packaging materials, such as plastic (9%) and aluminum (7%), and two-thirds (66%) of respondents say knowing that a food or beverage container has an impact on their health influences their purchasing habits.

In fact, most (81%) respondents have seen, read, or heard that certain food and beverage containers leach or seep chemicals into foods and beverages, and think glass bottles and jars (7%) are least likely to leach or seep chemicals while plastic bottles or containers are most likely (82%). Consumers also know glass containers (69%) are the safest to use in a microwave, with most glass jars offering in-package microwave convenience with no need to transfer foods to another container, and without the leaching concerns of plastic.

In glass, foods and beverages maintain their original purity and taste. A majority of those surveyed know glass bottles best preserve the shelf life of alcoholic beverages (91%) and non-alcoholic beverages (84%).

Recycling isn’t just an afterthought. Half of those surveyed say food or beverage packaging that is made from recycled materials has a positive influence on their purchasing decisions, while four-in-ten (41%) say their decision to buy a food or beverage is influenced by the ability to recycle the food or beverage container. Consumers rate paper and glass packaging as the best for the environment, while most respondents believe plastic bottles or containers (61%) are the biggest source of environmental pollution. For full survey results, please visit