Thursday, 19 March 2009

Choose cans

Analysis by the Carbon Trust has confirmed that soft drinks in aluminium cans generate about half the amount of carbon emissions of the same drink supplied in a glass bottle. A lifecycle assessment project by Coca-Cola UK found that a canned drink generates about 170 grams of greenhouse gases, reduced to 85g if the can is later recycled.

The exercise showed the largest slice of the drinks' carbon footprint comes from packaging: anywhere from 30 percent to 70 percent, depending on the container.

The precise figures may vary from one manufacturer to another, depending on how much recycled content is in its packaging material, how the product is shipped, etc., but as a rule of thumb it's reasonable to assume that an aluminium can is more sustainable than a glass bottle. This report doesn't mention plastic bottles, though.

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