Shell and Castrol ramp up eco packaging strategies

Lubricant manufacturers are packaging more sustainably.

Shell is trialling a stainless steel can for its lubricant products. Designed for trial use in France in the LoopTM platform, the Shell Helix Ultra Net Zero Carbon packaging will be reusable, with consumers able to return it for cleaning and refilling.

“As an industry, I think we have become more and more aware of the wastefulness of everything we do,”  says Paul Drake, founding partner and Creative Director of JDO which designed the packaging. It had to meet three goals:  durability for use up to 100 times, cleanability with Loop’s industrial processes and lifecycle optimization, meaning it could be responsibly disposed of at end-of-life.

Meanwhile Shell Lubricants has introduced a new product in the US called Ecobox, an alternative to traditional plastic packaging for motor oil. The bag containing the oil in the Ecobox carton is designed to help improve speed and ease of use compared to bottles, as it drains quickly, leaves minimal residual oil behind and requires less handling than quart bottles.

According to the oil major, using the Ecobox plastic liner results in 89% less plastic landfill waste than the equivalent 24-quart plastic bottles, and the Ecobox carton is fully recyclable.

Meanwhile, Castrol has formed a new partnership with Pulpex to design paper bottles for use with its products. According to Pulpex, this is a first-of-its-kind technology that forms bottles from wood pulp using 100% renewable feedstocks from responsibly managed forests. Its paper bottle offers a lower carbon footprint - up to 30% less than PET and glass.

One of Castrol’s stated aims is to halve its plastic footprint by 2030, and this latest partnership forms part of the reduction plan. The lubes producer has seen packaging sustainability and design as a key focus for some years - from recycling plastic containers to waste-reducing lubes dispensers.