Whisky sold in plastic bottles
I happened to stumble upon this picture online today and it bothered me a bit.
I was thinking why would any company SELL whisky in a plastic bottle? Likewise, why would anybody BUY whisky from a plastic bottle? First of all, packaging whisky in a plastic bottle is tacky and is not generally attractive to whisky consumers, Second, shouldn’t I be fearful of the chemicals leeching into the alcohol?
Consequently, after some heavy thinking I came to the realization that every day I am guilty of drinking water from a plastic source anyway, whether it be bottled mineral water or filtered water stored in 5-gallon plastic jugs. I’m exposed to plastic utensils and even drink hot coffee through a plastic lid. There really is no escape because our food is dependent on plastic – from storage to packaging to labeling and there are even cases in China where they substitute ingredients with plastic (but that’s a whole different story). Realistically, drinking whisky from a plastic bottle should be the least of my concerns but I’ll get into the reasons why why I wouldn’t anyway.
So how does plastic affect alcohol? Well unlike glass, solid plastic is still porous and leeches toxic chemicals into liquid especially when heated, frozen, or pressurized. Have you ever tasted something served in plastic that tastes like… plastic? Scientific studies have proven this to be factual and that’s why in the recent few years we’re been seeing these anti-BPA campaigns. BPA, also known as “Bisphenol A” is an organic synthetic compound used to strengthen plastic and it’s commonly found in Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics. So what’s so harmful about BPA and other chemicals? Here’s a shortened list of side effects because there’s actually endless cases associated with plastic chemical exposure:
- Heart disease
- Reproductive disorders
- Hormonal Imbalance (BPA can make you gay)
- The list goes on…
Another note is that just because it says “BPA Free” does not mean it’s chemical free. Don’t be fooled. It’s true that these products do not contain BPA but they contain substitutes that are just as harmful.
Now going back to my original question. If plastics are harmful to our heath, why do companies still sell whisky in plastic? The only answer happens to be the very same reason why we use plastic in the first place and that is…
To cut costs.
a) plastic is cheaper than glass
b) plastic is up to 90% lighter than glass
c) plastic does not break
The majority of consumers are numb to plastic dangers because the use of plastic products is the norm and we can’t exactly feel the chemicals “killing us softly”. In fact, some people simply don’t care at all or ignore the dangers. So if the bottled water industry can get away with it, of course the whisky industry can as well. Plastics may turn off a few buyers like me and while packaging plays a huge influence to paying consumers, price is a much bigger factor. Whisky drinkers are likely to pay a premium in order to enjoy the finest things in life but at the same time they appreciate value.
I’m no expert in health nutrition nor can I predict the long term effects of chemicals to your body. The only sound advice I’ll advocate is to avoid food and beverages served in plastic altogether. That’s Impossible you say and I agree because our entire world’s food industry is accustomed to the plastic standard.
As a takeaway, If you can’t avoid plastic in food, do yourself a favor and at least avoid drinking whisky from a plastic cup. It just tastes better in a proper glass.