How Long Does Canned Water Last

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross, individuals should drink at least a half gallon (64 oz.) of water per day in an emergency situation. When you are planning on Emergency Preparedness, water should be a #1 consideration and Canned Water is slowly becoming the Prepper’s #1 choice for Emergency Water Storage. How long does Canned Water Last?

Canned Water has a Shelf Life of 30 to 50 years used by NASA and FEMA is first sterilized, filtered & comes in an aluminum container that is easily recycled, non-permeable bottles, hermetically sealed that keeps out UV light, contaminants, and gases that prevent oxidation for many years.

Depending on the brand or where it is purchased, bottled water can cost up to 10,000 times the cost of tap water but with canned water, that price is a drop in the bucket and can go up much higher. With Emergency Preparedness in a lot of people’s minds, these days is there a market for this expensive way of packaging and storing the most important item on your emergency list?


Canned Drinking Water


     Blue Can Water has a Shelf Life of 50 years

When it comes to Bottled water, the container and packaging have always been an issue when researchers found what kind of chemicals was involved with making the plastic water bottles and how long it took for one plastic bottle to degrade. Different kinds of plastic can degrade at different times, but the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade is at least 450 years. It can even take some bottles 1000 years to biodegrade in landfills. Even the smallest bottle.  The sad news is that 90% of bottles aren’t even recycled. 

Some companies have launched water in cans, offering a more environmentally sustainable alternative to plastic bottles. Canned water is drinking water, including spring water, artesian spring water, purified water, carbonated water, and mineral water, packaged in beverage cans made of aluminum or tin-plated steel. Individual serving aluminum cans and bottles are less common alternatives to bottled water.

Plastic Pollution is a huge global threat to our oceans and our landfills. Over 1 million plastic bottles are used every minute. Many end up in our oceans, polluting the water and harming sea life. We think plastic has got to go. Aluminum cans and bottles get recycled 67% of the time. That is more than twice as often as plastic, glass, and cartons. Pepsi started its own production of Canned Water back in 2019.

Recycling plastic is more complex, leads to degradation, and has lower reuse rates than aluminum because of these and other reasons, Aluminum has been heralded as a greener alternative.


Why is Canned Water So Expensive


Canned Water is expensive especially if you compare it to a case of Bottled Water. I can buy a case of 24 plastic Water Bottles for less than $5.00 at Walmart or any large outlet but Canned Water is around $30.00-100.00 for a case of 24 cans. There are reasons for this and according to a lot of people they are solid reasons like:

  • Eco-friendly-Canned water is Eco-friendly that uses more sustainable packaging made of 100% recyclable
  • No Chemicals-Aluminum doesn’t use chemicals in the container- BPA stands for bisphenol A, an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1950s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.
  • Long Term Storage – have the ability for long-term storage as emergency water when stored in a dry environment with ambient temperatures (above 35 degrees and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Infinitely Recyclable-aluminum can be recycled over and over without losing quality or volume, unlike plastic bottles and cartons.
  • Better Protection-the cans when stored for long periods of time are better protected against rodents that plastic water bottles can’t ensure. Cans are structurally sturdy and stack extremely well in off-grid locations or storage units.
  • Longer Shelf Life-30 to 50-year canned water you will no longer have to repeatedly spend money on replacing it. Canned Water is perfect for Preppers in this age of awareness when Emergency Preparement is an important plan.
  • 3X the Money-recycled aluminum content can reap more money estimates for glass or plastic with 73 percent recycled content on average


Canned Water has a Shelf Life of 30 to 50-years used by NASA and FEMA is first sterilized, filtered & comes in an aluminum container that is easily recycled, non-permeable bottles, hermetically sealed that keeps out UV light, contaminants, and gases (Plastic Water Bottles can’t do this) that prevent oxidation for many years. If open taste fresh as the day you bought it. The shelf life is determined by the brand

The long-term Canned Water that can be stored for 50 years and is popular with Preppers and anyone interested in Emergency Preparedness is Blue Can Premium Emergency Drinking Water – 12oz 24 Pack available here through Amazon. Buy it by the case to get your supply going while you can get this price for a case.  


Canned Water vs Bottled Water


According to the Aluminum Association:  aluminum can be recycled infinitely without losing quality or volume. According to the Aluminum Association: “Aluminum cans are recycled over and over again in a true “closed loop” recycling process. Glass, plastic, and cartons are typically “down-cycled” into products like carpet, energy-intensive building materials like concrete, disposable paper goods, or landfill liner.” So, while other containers may claim to be “recyclable,” aluminum alone can be used again and again (and again) without degrading.

The Aluminum Association, located in Arlington, Virginia, works globally to aggressively promote aluminum as the most sustainable and recyclable automotive, packaging and construction material in today’s market. The Association represents the U.S. and foreign-based primary producers of aluminum, aluminum recyclers, and producers of fabricated products, as well as industry suppliers. Member companies operate more than 200 plants in the United States, with many conducting business worldwide.

Nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today while plastic Bottles that are littering landfills and our waters from streams to our oceans with the new “Plastic Pollution” that has been developed since plastic had been developed over the last century but its increasing usage especially with the growing popularity of Bottled Drinking Water.

Unlike plastic water bottles, Aluminum recycling happens in as little as 60 days. That’s right, the turnaround time for aluminum recycling is super quick. Aluminum can be thrown away, recycled, and back on store shelves in a few months. With recycling that fast, it’s possible that you’ve actually used the same can (or part of it) multiple times.

Aluminum packaging contains an average of 73% post-consumer material. Compare that to plastic, which on average use just 3% recycled material. Glass is better at 23% but can’t compare to the products of today that consume aluminum compared to other materials.

Aluminum can scrap is worth $1,210 per ton on average versus $237 per ton for plastic (PET) and –$21 per ton for glass. That is the reason it’s worth the effort of recycling where there is real profit for the venture where it might be harder to find when recycling plastic or glass.

Emissions associated with transporting and cooling aluminum cans are 7 to 21 percent lower than plastic bottles and 35 to 49 percent lower than glass bottles used in the industry.

According to FDA, Bottled H2O’s is safe to drink for at least 2 years if under certain provisions, unlike Canned Water that can last up to 30- 50 years shelf life which is an important quality for Preppers who should find that this fact would justify the money it cost.  

A new Comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) by sustainability consultancy Sphera shows that the carbon footprint of aluminum cans made in North America has dropped by nearly half over the past three decades put out by the Aluminum Association 


Aluminum Cans vs Plastic Bottles Health


On some Canned Water, especially the cans that are stored in Emergency Preparedness, you can’t reseal the Water Cans. They are built with a pop-top to open them up. On plastic bottles, you can by putting the cap back on. Doing this prevents contaminants from getting into the drink, increases portability, and preserves freshness. Cans cannot be resealed once they are opened, so the entire contents of the can have to be used at one time or placed into a storage container

Plastic bottles and aluminum cans are made using different materials. Plastic bottles require large amounts of petroleum to produce. These products are made from chemicals that are now deemed as unhealthy especially over lover long periods of times.

Aluminum Water Cans do not contain bisphenol A (BPA), found in plastic bottles. This chemical has come under scrutiny due to a possible link to health risks that might include cancer. Most plastic bottle manufacturers insist that plastic bottles are safe, but consumer advocate groups support legislation that would ensure the removal of BPA from plastic products. 

Aluminum Cans used for beer or soft drinks have been around for a while. The use of aluminum cans was first introduced to the general public in 1959 by Coors. Aluminum offered an affordable alternative to steel as well as a more convenient surface for company printed text and graphics. Aluminum cans can be recycled into more cans in a true “closed-loop” recycling process.

Aluminum doesn’t occur in nature and is primarily comprised of bauxite rock, which is primarily found in Australia, India, and Brazil. Collecting bauxite comprises open-pit mining, which usually involves moving or bulldozing large amounts of vegetation and surface rocks. This type of mining negatively affects ecosystems and creates air and water pollution, which can cause health issues for wildlife and humans. 

So there are negatives to the manufacturing processes of both Plastic and Aluminum Cans but the main health issue is the worry that BPA found in plastic Bottled water leaches in the human body and the environment as waste in landfills and oceans.


JimGalloway Author/Editor



References: The Aluminum Association-Carbon Footprint of Aluminum Cans


Sciencing-Plastic Bottle Vs. Aluminum Can

In Habitat-Aluminum cans vs plastic bottles: which is best for the environment?




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