Testing of the plastic liners from beneath nearly 300 bottle caps has revealed that many glass-bottled beverages may be capped with toxic chemicals that could expose consumers to harm and contribute to environmental injustice.
For beverage packaging, we investigated the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) plastic and chemical plasticizers added to make vinyl soft and pliable. Several plasticizers are used in flexible vinyl plastic, including ortho-phthalates, a class of chemicals of high concern.
Flexible vinyl makes up some plastic liners (known as cap gaskets) that seal the underside of metal bottle caps to glass bottles. Plasticizers typically account for one-third to one-half of flexible vinyl plastic by weight. These additives are not chemically bound to the plastic and are continually shed into the surrounding environment during use and disposal.