The study was completed by Franklin Associates, a leading LCA consulting firm and pioneer in the field, and went through an extensive peer review and verification process. Findings unequivocally show that when it comes to the best beverage packaging for the environment, the answer is PET.
Plastic packaging made from PET is used in over 70% of beverage containers because it’s lightweight, clear and 100% recyclable. Compared to glass and aluminum beverage containers, PET plastic bottles create less solid waste, use less water during production and generate fewer emissions that contribute to acid rain and smog.
If U.S. consumers selected PET plastic bottles instead of glass bottles for their soda beverages over the course of one year, it would be the same as:
- The amount of GHG emissions avoided by recycling instead of landfilling nearly 53,000 garbage trucks of waste
- The carbon sequestered by adding almost 1.3 million acres of U.S. forest
Similarly, if U.S. residents choose PET plastic bottles instead of aluminum cans for their soda beverages over the course of one year, resulting impacts would be the same as:
- Conserving 4.4 billion liters of water
- Removing 688,000 gas powered cars off the road annually
- Diverting 138 million bags filled with trash for recycling versus landfills
The LCA compared the most commonly used beverage containers for carbonated soft drinks and still water and found that a 16.9 ounce PET plastic water bottle compared to a standard-size 12 ounce aluminum can:
- Creates 80% less solid waste
- Uses 53% less water during production
- Has 74% lower global warming potential
- Generates 68-83% fewer emissions that contribute to the formation of acid rain and smog
“The LCA scientifically and credibly demonstrates how plastic packaging provides significant environmental benefits that will help the world meet its vital net zero carbon targets,” said Laura Stewart, Executive Director of NAPCOR. “A PET bottle is 100% recyclable and can be made with 100% recycled content. The LCA’s results should be empowering for businesses and consumers because we can confirm once again that choosing PET plastic beverage containers is the best option for the planet.”