Glass vs. Plastic Packaging: A Guide

Posted on March 13, 2023

Did you know that plastic was invented as early as 1907? Since then, plastic has become a vital part of our lives, especially our products. These days, there are far more plastic packages than glass packages. 

When it comes to glass vs. plastic packaging, you might be wondering which might be the better choice. Glass packaging vs. plastic is not necessarily the case of one being better than the other since they both have pros and cons. But which option will be better for packaging and selling a product?

Keep reading and learn more about the pros and cons of these two types of materials used for packaging. 

glass vs plastic packaging

The Pros and Cons of Glass Packaging

The first benefit of glass packaging is that it makes a good impression on your customers. This is because customers automatically assume that glass packaging is of higher quality than plastic packaging, even if this isn’t necessarily true in reality. Glass, as a material, has a more luxurious feel than plastic since it is firmer and more visually appealing. 

This, of course, can certainly help you sell more of your products. However, the appearance and feel of the packaging alone aren’t necessarily what will get people to buy more of your product. Other factors come into play. 

For example, the chemical composition of glass makes it an excellent choice for storing certain drinks, such as carbonated drinks or alcohol. This is because these drinks will have a hard time leaching into the glass as they might with other materials. For that reason, glass might be the better choice depending on what you need to be packaged. 

But keep in mind that glass packaging also has a few cons. For one, glass packaging breaks easily compared to plastic packaging. Everyone knows that if you drop something made of plastic, it will bounce a few times and remain intact.

The Details

However, if you drop something made of glass, there is a good chance that that object will shatter into a million pieces and be a real mess to clean up. This can be a real problem if you plan on shipping glass packages in bulk. 

While all packages need to be packed securely to avoid breaking in transit, there is still a much higher risk that glass packages will break than plastic packages. This is because a shipment of glass packaging could easily crack, chip, or break entirely in transit, especially if the packaging is handled roughly. 

Hundreds or even thousands of broken glass packages can, of course, be a colossal waste of money. While plastic packages can also break during shipping, there is less of a risk with them since they are naturally more flexible and not as rigid. 

If you are considering glass packaging, you will need to weigh these pros and cons before deciding to ensure that you’re making the right choice for yourself and your product. 

The Pros and Cons of Plastic Packaging

As with glass, plastic also has plenty of pros and cons that you should consider. The first pro is that plastic packaging is very affordable. This is why most brands ship their products in plastic rather than glass packaging. Plastic is simply easier for factories to produce and at a much lower cost compared to glass. 

This is because glass needs to be refined and produced very specifically. This is not to mention that shipping plastic packaging is also more affordable. This is because plastic packaging is generally lighter than glass packaging, even if it is packaging the same product, and this extra weight will translate to the extra money you will need to pay for shipping.

For that reason, plastic may be the better option if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on your packaging. Plastic is also known to be very durable. While there are many different kinds of plastic (some are more rigid than others), plastic is generally flexible and robust. 

What You Need to Know

Even if an entire pallet of plastic packaging falls, most of the plastic packaging will likely survive. On the other hand, if you replace the packaging with glass, it will surely shatter into a thousand pieces. So you won’t have to worry so much about your plastic packaging breaking when shipped out. 

But of course, there are also a few cons that you should think about. For example, some people may find that plastic packaging is not as high-quality as glass packaging. Even if your plastic packaging is indeed very high-quality, people tend to believe that glass packaging is the sign of a high-quality product simply because it feels heftier and more expensive. 

Another downside is that some cheap types of plastic may input chemicals into the product that it houses. Fortunately, high-quality plastics don’t do this since they are more refined and made to ensure no harmful chemicals leach into the product. 

The Upsides and Downsides of Glass vs. Plastic Packaging

When it comes to the question of glass vs. plastic packaging, you should know that both are good options and that they both have unique pros and cons.

For example, customers see glass as higher quality and more valuable, but it has an increased risk of breaking, especially when shipped out. Plastic packaging has less of a favorable first impression with customers, but it is durable and affordable.

To learn more about plastic packaging, take a look at what we have to offer.