Different types of engine oil packaging
If you pick up oil for your car at the store, you have probably noticed that it comes in a variety of different packaging. Engine oil is purchased every single day and even if you do not put oil into your car on your own, the oil change company that does gets the oil in a variety of packaging as well. Because there are a variety of ways that you can get engine oil and the amounts can vary from just one bottle that measures 1 quart, all the way up to a tanker truck full of it, the product requires different types of packaging. Engine oil is an essential part of the keeping your engine running as long as possible. It acts as a lubricant for combustion engines like those found in cars, trucks, generators and even lawn mowers.
As the engine in those types of machines are used, they cause friction with all of the moving parts and if it weren’t for oil to lubricate and cool those parts, the engine would not last as long. These days there are synthetic, bio-based and petroleum based oils on the market. Each of them has pros and cons and work well with one machine or another. Once the oil is blended, it is packaged in bottles, cans or a new type of pouch. If you are old enough, you might remember that you could purchase oil in tin cans. You would pop the top of the can open with a metal can opener and pour it into the engine with a metal funnel. Today, most of the oil that is purchased by consumers can be done so in plastic jugs of some sort.
Many of the oils that you see on the store shelf are sold in bottles that are only 1 quart in size. If you need more oil than that or you just want to stock up on engine oil, then you can get it by the gallon in some places, but it is still sold in the typical plastic container. Some people reuse the larger containers to store old oil that was drained from the engine, that way it can be disposed of quickly and without a mess. Oil is recycled quite often these days and that is a good thing for the environment. After the metal cans started to disappear from the shelves in stores, the cardboard can was the introduced. The cardboard allowed companies to package the oil for resale and save money at the same time because it was cheaper than the metal.
Cardboard is also easier to recycle, making a very popular option for packaging engine oil. That was pretty much the norm until the 1980’s when the polyethylene plastic bottle showed up on the market. The bottle did not come with a spout, but one could be purchased separately and also used to puncture the top of the bottle so the oil could be poured. The current trend is that engine oil is moving to a more advanced, flexible packaging like stand up pouches. The pouches can be packaged in bulk easier and are also easier to recycle. There is at least one company that is putting a synthetic motor oil blend into a heavy-duty, easy-to-pour, flex-pack pouch. Internationally, the pouch has already been accepted as the new way to purchase motor oil, so those in the United States are just catching up to the trend.
Moving engine oil to the flexible packaging started in a discussion with a pouch packaging company and the motor oil blending company. The new stand up pouches were born. The engine oil can be purchased in 1-quart and 5.1-quart containers. The pouch is a 6-mil, 3-layer construction made from polyester, nylon and LLDPE. The material might seem thin, but it has been formulated for strength and to hand the bumps it would receive while being shipped around the world. There are many ways that you can get your oil today, but the market is starting to see the trend to a more flexible, shipping friendly package.