Conatiner types used for beer in the U.S., 1981 - 2010

Container Types Used For Beer in the U.S., 1981-2010

In the United States, the fraction of metal cans has remained fairly constant at around half of all beer containers over the past two decades.  Glass bottles have undergone a large 15% increase and now constitute 38.2% of beer containers, while draught beer has been on a slow decline.  Refillable beer bottles made up 12% of the mix in 1981, but were entirely phased out by 2007.  Plastic beer containers were introduced in 2005, but because plastic is more permeable to oxidation, only 0.3% of beer is packaged in PET.

Canada's beer industry still utilizes refillable glass bottles.  “Approximately 62% of beer containers sold in Ontario are refillable bottles. Each Ontario refillable beer bottle is used 12-15 times, representing a 93% savings of the pollution related to virgin material extraction.” On top of that, "97 per cent of non-refillable beer bottles [are] recovered".  The Beer Store Stewardship Report 2010