Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Battle of the Bottles

     Some trends are a little confusing to me, which should be all the more reason to post about them, right?
     So let's talk bottles.
     If you haven't noticed, beverages such as beer and soda are showing up more and more in aluminum bottles. Not aluminum cans, not glass bottles, but aluminum bottles, like the ones below.
      Coca Cola since 2005 has been on the path to aluminum bottles, reportedly commissioning  five design groups from five continents to rethink packaging, with an eye towards hip urban flair. Specifically this turned out to mean new aluminum bottles, to be found only "in the most exclusive clubs and lounges." To me that's Coke in pursuit of another marketing gimmick to rejuvenate the brand, and it came out in the form of aluminum bottles. The bottles are indeed cute, though. I recently had a Sprite in one of those in  South Miami, clearly indicating that I was attending a most exclusive happy hour.
     Beer and other drinks have been showing up in aluminum bottles as well. Coors Light introduced in September a 16-oz. re-sealeable aluminum pint. A protein shake called Pure Pro 50, launched in February, claims to be the first protein drink packaged in an aluminum bottle. And below are Budweiser's entries.

     The trend has been working its way through different drinks for the past five years or so. A 2009 article in website reports that in 2004, CCL Container’s  aluminum bottle was selected as one of Business Week Magazine’s Best New Products. It might all have started from there.
     The advantage for beverage manufacturers seem obvious. The aluminum bottles provide a packaging that is lighter than glass, but more slick than the traditional aluminum can. So it serves a double purpose of revitalizing a brand and lowering shipping costs.
    But also there are claims that aluminum bottles are more eco-friendly, as supposedly it takes less energy to recycle them than it does to recycle glass bottles, plus they're basically indestructible, so in theory, you could drink the beer or soda or whatever, then keep the can and use it as your water bottle, and never buy a plastic water bottle again.
    That's where it gets confusing to me. There's something of a battle going on as to which kind of container is more eco-friendly and healthier -- glass, aluminum or plastic -- and I'm not sure I can tell a clear winner. For one thing, they're all recyclable. For another, they all seem to pose some remote health hazard or another.
    For more on this issue, check out this link: And here's another article on the merits of aluminum vs. plastic water bottles:
    If you figure it out and come to a clear conclusion on which is ecologically superior, let me know.
    In the meantime, I'll just recycle whatever I end up drinking from.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

White After Labor Day -- You Won't Get Shot

     Not everyone's a fashion expert, but there are some things everyone knows, as, for example, you don't wear white after Labor Day. It's a rule so entrenched it even inspired homicidal behavior in the 1994 dark comedy Serial Mom.
     And apparently the fashion police has decided it's time to put an end to that. Word is out that it's okay to wear white in the fall, with fashion designers becoming the instigators of such season-color upset. If you like the way your white jeans fit, there's no fearing for your life any longer any time of year.
      Glamour magazine gave it its blessing last year: And fashion website reports that not only will white pants be allowed this fall, they will be essential:
     What gives? Color rebellion, I guess. So go ahead and lighten up the winter wardrobe.