Woman in a grocery store isle where shelves contain PET plastic containers.

What you put in your cart matters.

Social media hashtag #PickPET and the number one recycle symbol

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report confirms PET plastic bottles are better for the environment than aluminum cans or glass bottles.

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Life Cycle Assessment Report

NAPCOR partnered with Franklin Associates to explore the environmental impacts of beverage bottles and cans in the U.S. The result is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report. It provides fact-based, science-driven evidence that concludes, when compared with glass and aluminum, PET plastic delivers significant environmental savings across several key environmental categories.

Energy icon Energy Consumed
Water icon Water Consumption
Smog icon Smog
Greenhouse gas icon Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Acid rain icon Acid Rain
Eutrophication icon Eutrophication Potential

About the Report

An LCA is a scientific method for evaluating the environmental benefits and tradeoffs for the entire life cycle of a product — from raw material extraction through production, use, reuse or recycling where applicable, and final dispositions. This LCA looked at nine of the most commonly used beverage containers for carbonated soft drinks (CSD) and still water. The study compared PET plastic, glass and aluminum, and went through a rigorous, independent and thorough peer review process that verified the methodology and findings over the course of eight months.

Key Findings

  • PET plastic bottles produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
  • PET requires less energy to produce than glass and aluminum counterparts.
  • Beyond PET’s beneficial reduction to global warming, PET plastic bottles also create less solid waste, use less water and generate fewer emissions detrimental to air and water quality during production.
  • The total life-cycle impact of a PET beverage container is better for the environment than glass or aluminum.
  • PET beverage container systems, accounting for the largest share of U.S. CSD and bottled domestic still water sales, compare favorably with the predominant aluminum and glass container systems for these applications.
  • Glass bottles have the highest impact for most environmental metrics evaluated, followed by aluminum cans, then PET bottles.
  • All comparisons of PET CSD bottles with glass bottles and all comparisons of PET water bottles with aluminum cans show that PET is better for the environment.