Consumer trends show that people are increasingly drawn to foods and beverages that support a healthier lifestyle. Product packaging comes in direct contact with food and beverages and people don’t always realize how packaging can impact human health.
It’s no secret that when shoppers choose food or beverages in glass packaging, they avoid potential risks associated with other packaging.
Glass is made of recycled glass as well as three natural ingredients that come from the earth—sand, limestone and soda ash. When lightning strikes sand, Mother Nature creates glass. When glass breaks down, it eventually returns to the earth instead of sitting in a landfill. When taste matters, glass wins.
When taste matters, glass wins. Glass is impermeable and nonporous, so it protects the valuable food and beverages it holds. Its natural composition means glass packaging is considered virtually inert, which means it doesn’t absorb or interact with the food and beverages inside. Glass packaging doesn’t allow for dangerous chemicals to seep into the food and beverages packaged inside. Glass is odorless and flavorless, which leaves food and beverages tasting exactly how the producer intended–and how the consumer expects–time and time again. Baby food producers, juice makers and dairy farmers know that glass protects the flavor and freshness of their wholesome products. The message around the health benefits of glass is reaching shoppers, too. Six out of 10 glass lovers in Europe said health and safety was an important factor in them choosing products in glass packaging, according to a study published by Friends of Glass.
The health benefits of glass go beyond taste. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for food safety in the United States. Glass is the only food packaging material the FDA considers “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS).
The glass melting process transforms raw materials into a new substance whose characteristics are distinct and controlled. It is a “one-way” process since it cannot be reversed and the components cannot be separated once the process is done. Additionally, the FDA accepts that glass is an effective barrier against potential exposure of food products to materials applied on the exterior surface of glass containers. O-I manages any surface-treatment products, like lubricants or decorations, to adhere to FDA, food safety, local, or any other relevant regulations.