So, What's Wrong With Plastic?
There are three primary issues:
Plastic is more permeable than glass. That means the O2 and CO2 are more likely to permeate a plastic container than a glass container. That's why fine spirits are always bottled in glass, not in plastic. Plastic is reserved for spirits that will likely be consumed immediately, while glass is used for spirits that are intended to store and last.
Given the small serving size of vanilla extract used in your dishes, a large bottle of vanilla extract could last up to 3 years! VanillaPura uses glass bottles and air-tight resealable caps to make sure you get the longest shelf-life possible out of each bottle.
This is an important point as it relates to taste. Plastic contains at least two chemical substances: ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. Both of these chemicals have the tendency to leach to a greater extent if used for storing any kind of alcohol for a longer period of time. With increased temperatures, those chemicals can actually leach into the drink. (Like drinking a bottle of water after it has been in a hot car for a day or two.) Not only are the chemicals unhealthy, but they will also alter the taste of your vanilla extract.
Glass bottles, on the other hand, have high resistance to leaching given their solid surface. The dealkalization process that bottles go through ensures a smooth, impermeable air-tight environment that is important when storing liquids in glass, particularly alcohol-based liquids.
Though progress is being made each year with the quality of plastics and the efforts to make them more "green", glass is still considered more environmentally friendly. The primary reason: glass can be recycled into new glass. It's reusable, over and over again and never loses its integrity. Plastic, however, can't be recycled into plastic. All plastic is new plastic and can only be "downcycled" into something like carpet pads and plastic lumber.
In summary, we believe that glass is the best option for both the environmental and product quality reasons listed here. If you're an extract maker, we recommend using glass bottles. Of course, we follow this recommendation ourselves.