Here we’ll talk about the differences between glass and plastic bottles for your e-liquid, the various materials available and their pros and cons.

This was brought up in a Facebook group a couple of weeks ago so I thought it would be fun to chat about it here.

Let me just start by saying – There’s mad bro science in the vaping scene.

By that I mean, science that isn’t science at all. Thought up by people with little understanding of the various elements they tout information about. It gets on my tits. A lot of it kind of sounds like it could be true. It’s because of this that it is easily swallowed by the unsuspecting public who then regurgitate it ad infinitum until there’s 1000 people spouting the same bollocks that bares no relation with fact. Just look at flat earthers (don’t even get me started on those).

I like to use these blogs to dispel some of that misinformation wherever possible. Makes me feel good. The earth isn’t flat. Sorry fruit cakes, but it’s the truth.

I’ve seen people say that plastic bottles leach plastic into their e-liquid. I can only think that this myth was born years ago when LDPE bottles were commonly used for holding e-liquid. If you are using particularly volatile e-liquid (citrus, menthol…) and it is stored for long periods of time in LDPE bottles, there is a very, very slim possibility that the plastics could leach into your e-liquid. We no longer commonly use these sorts of bottles for e-liquid anymore. Short fills come in PET bottles mostly and almost everything else comes in HDPE or glass.

The 4 types of material

LDPE – Low-density polyethylene. This material is what they make the really squeezy, thin plastic bottles out of. LDPE is defined by a density range of 0.917-0.930 g/cm3. It’s not reactive at normal temperatures except by some solvents or strong oxidising agents.

HDPE – High-density polyethylene. A very common plastic used in many different applications, from milk bottles to fuel tanks for vehicles. HDPE is defined by a density range of 0.930-0.970 g/cm3. It can withstand higher temperatures and is less reactive than LDPE.

PET – Polyethylene Terephthalate. The strongest, most rigid and least reactive of the plastic bottles used for vaping. Commonly used for short fill bottles.

Glass – Doesn’t really need an introduction does it? I like mine with bourbon and coke in.

The truth is that any of these materials are absolutely fine for holding e-liquid. For long term storage, I would probably steer clear of LDPE bottles though, as depending on the e-liquid contained within them, you may run into issues if you’re planning to keep the e-liquid for several months/years.  

All of the constituent parts of e-liquid are stored and sold in HDPE or PET bottles from the manufacturer. This tells me:

  • The manufacturers are guaranteeing that the bottle material will not react with the ingredients over the given time frame (best before).
  • If plastics truly do leach into e-liquid all of the ingredients are already fucked at the point of manufacture.

Of all of the ingredients in e-liquid, it is the flavourings that contain the most volatile chemicals. So, if Capella are happy to manufacture, store and ship in HDPE bottles then logically, the same ingredients further diluted, should pose even less of a risk.

People who talk about plastic leaching into e-liquid when referring to PET or HDPE bottles are talking nonsense. Chemists often keep acids in HDPE and PET bottles or beakers because of how unreactive the materials are. Does nobody remember the scene in breaking bad where they dispose of the body using hydrofluoric acid? Walter White knew. I’ll take the science of a fictional, cancer stricken chemistry teacher turned meth dealer over bro science any day of the week.