The plastic vs glass issue is a big one! At Blue Coconut, we have thought long and hard about this with our packaging. The ironic thing is all coconut oil in NZ has been in a plastic container at some time. For a great deal of the coconut oil sold in NZ, this means it travels from the Northern Hemisphere in plastic. It may be put in a glass container by the company before it is shipped to supermarkets, but it could have sat in plastic for a long time prior to this.
At Blue Coconut we work hard to have a really quick turnaround with our oil -from the nut in the Pacific Islands to purchase date is as fast as we can make it. We chose polypropylene containers (#5) for transport from the islands as well as our pottles, for its safety profile and logistic practicalities. Glass jars can't be stacked. They require considerable space in containers, which result in significant transport costs compared to plastic containers. Below is a sample picture taken from the internet. It also shows how much plastic is used to transport glass bottles! Plastic containers are transported in cardboard boxes.
Being a bit of a nerd, I did a rough calculation on volume comparison for 500 bottles vs plastic containers, as they would be packaged for transport. If you consider a single 400ml jar being about 13cm high x8cm diameter, then 500 of these jars stacked together would cover 65metres x40m x 40m (as circular jars take up as much space as a square jar of same diameter) Of course there is plastic wrap covering the jars so they can fit on pallets, as shown above.
In contrast, 500 of our 400ml pottles fit in a cardboard box 42cmx37cmx50cm!
Some days we use 10,000 pottles a day!. Can you imagine the transport costs involved to ship that many glass jars, and the wasted plastic wrap? Commercial plastic wrap is usually PVC -a plastic proven to be toxic to humans and the environment.
At Blue Coconut, we do, however support transferring coconut oil to a glass or pottery container when you get it home, just in case future research suggests polypropylene is not as safe as is currently thought. We believe it is certainly safer than some of the plastics coconut oil is transported in by other companies. I hope this helps :) Dr Flight