• Jun 7th 2010 at 11:08AM
  • 15
Back in 1965, a winemaker in Australia had a novel idea. He decided that wine in a bottle was wasteful in many ways and thus came forward with the invention of boxed wine. While some applauded his innovative thinking, wine purists thought that the invention was all kinds of evil (but it did set up a nice joke on Arrested Development one time). 45 years later, Shell Lubricants has decided to reuse his idea in a totally different way by offering boxed motor oil. Shell describes its new packaging as, "an innovative product called Ecobox, an alternative to traditional plastic packaging for motor oil."
Until electric cars dominate, changing motor oil is one of those tasks that come with car ownership. If you change your own oil, then you're well aware of those plastic bottles that end up in your garbage and eventually make their way to some landfill or nearby recycling center. Shell believes that the Ecobox solves the wasted plastic problem while also offering many other benefits to the user. The company said in a statemet:
Using the Ecobox plastic liner results in 89 percent less plastic landfill waste than the equivalent 24 quart plastic bottles, and the Ecobox carton is fully recyclable. The Ecobox pump system provides motor oil delivery that helps improve many operational tasks associated with dispensing oil using individual quarts.
The Ecobox will be introduced in select markets in the U.S. and, if popular, it could eventually replace those plastic quarts of oil that line the aisles of your local auto parts store. Even though boxed wine still has its opponents, we don't see any reason why the Ecobox won't garner widespread appeal. It's simple yet innovative and sure to please the environmental types amongst us. Hit the jump to discover more about motor oil in a box.

[Source: Shell Lubricants]


Shell Lubricants announces new product alternative to traditional plastic packaging for motor oil called ECOBOX ™ Exobox packaged in box

Shell ECOBOX ™ efficiently delivers oil to engines and significantly reduces plastic waste

June 1, 2010 - Rio de Janeiro – Today at the Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2010, Shell Lubricants announced that it offers an innovative product called Ecobox™, an alternative to traditional plastic packaging for motor oil.

Through its design, Ecobox™ can help owners and operators of oil change facilities more efficiently store, manage and deliver oil to their customers' vehicles. 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.

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. The Ecobox™ pump system provides motor oil delivery that helps improve many operational tasks associated with dispensing oil using individual quarts.

The Ecobox™ is part of Shell's 'smarter mobility' approach to developing innovations for cleaner and more efficient transport of people and goods. Smarter mobility has three elements: smarter products, smarter use and smarter infrastructure. The effort is not just a concept; it is evident in Shell's work every day to help accelerate the global shift to cleaner, more energy efficient road transport. The Ecobox™ system is a prime example of smarter use, through smarter packaging.

"The Ecobox ™ system is being introduced in the United States through a controlled rollout, with eventual plans for it to become a global offering," said Tan Chong Meng, Shell's Executive Vice President for B2B and Lubricants. "While the Ecobox ™ system and many of our other smarter mobility efforts provide incremental improvements, each of the benefits provided is a step towards cleaner, more efficient mobility."

Oil is easily dispensed from the specially engineered box and valve, and then transferred to the engine crankcase by a custom-designed Ecobox™ pump system. The Ecobox™ carton can reduce storage space in shops, as it is about one-half the size of the equivalent volume of single-quart cases.

As the number of viscosity grades installed locations are required to keep on hand continues to increase, the Ecobox™ system can allow installers to offer a wider range of specialty oils to meet customers' needs by making it easy to stock and install a number of different motor oils without the need for bulk storage.

Easy-to-read Ecobox™ carton labeling and the specially organised storage rack help technicians select and install the correct oil, while delivery of oil to the vehicle is simplified through no-drip digital metered delivery nozzles.

For more information on Shell's smarter mobility, visit www.shell.com/smartermobility

About Shell Lubricants
The term 'Shell Lubricants' collectively refers to the companies of Royal Dutch Shell plc that are engaged in the lubricants business. Shell Lubricants companies lead the lubricants industry, supplying 13% of global lubricants volume.a The companies manufacture and blend products for use in applications ranging from consumer motor oil and food processing oils to heavy industrial lubricants and commercial transport oils. The Shell Lubricants portfolio of top-quality brands includes Pennzoil®, Quaker State®, FormulaShell®, Shell TELLUS®, Shell CASSIDA®, Shell RIMULA®, Shell ROTELLA® T, Shell SPIRAX®, Jiffy Lube® and a portfolio of leading car care brands.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whoa wait what, you throw your oil containers into the rubbish in america?! And people there have the nerve to complain about BP when they are doing essentially the exact same thing themselves (albeit on a smaller scale of course).

      In the UK you're not permitted to just throw this stuff away or pour it down the drain. This is why all councils offer recycling facilities for it, and there are websites such as http://www.oilbankline.org.uk/ that show you exactly where your nearest recycling centres are - e.g. there are 10 within 8 miles of my address.

        • 5 Years Ago
        We recycle the wase oil itself, but many municipal recycling programs will not accept the empty oil bottles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      89%? That's significant.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, but..

        I bet it will cost more and nobody will buy it :P
        • 5 Years Ago
        "89 percent less plastic landfill waste"

        Does not translate into 98% less oil used.

        But if you're a fan of less landfill waste.. it is a plus.

        Now if we can just eliminate the oil, the rubber belts and hoses, filters, + the associated packaging... by buying EVs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A good idea but I love the way they say the old bottles would be in land fill. So I suppose the old plastic bottles are not recyclable but cooking oil bottles are? Is the product so much different that engine bottles cannot be recycled at the same plant as other domestic waste products.

      I'm lucky enough to live in a county in the UK which has zero landfill anyway. All waste is either recycled or incinerated in state of the art incinerators that are used to generate electricity whilst using filters to capture pollutants. No I don't think they're doing Carbon Capture and Storage though!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It took them 45 years to figure this out?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You didn't think of it. J/K but I agree, you think someone would have attempted this already. All good ideas always seem so simple.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The sell oil, plastic is made from...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Simple, smart and cheap....it just shows how easy it is to respect the environment....
      • 5 Years Ago
      BG already sells transmission fluid in a "box-bag" I don't see it on their website though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ya gotta love it. Even an oil company is thinking about reducing waste. Thumbs up, Shell.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Additionally: I'm not sure I buy into their reduction numbers. I haven't purchased large numbers of individual quarts for oil changes in years - ever since Mobil 1 was offered in 5-quart jugs.

      It looks like the Ecobox is being marketed to shops. I wonder how many enthusiasts are willing to pony up for a single 24 quart container (which would cost well over $100 for my oil of choice, Mobil 1). I also note that they make no mention of what the "custom-designed Ecobox™ pump system" would cost.

      Still, if the 24-quart container offered savings over other approaches, I'd be interested.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Disclaimer: This is just my observation from my part of the US.

      It isn't what the bottle is made from, it's that it has been contaminated with petroleum. My municipal recycling service will not accept recyclable motor oil containers. Interesting: Recyclable cooking oil containers are accepted without problem.

      Yes, I change my own oil. Yes, my oil containers have been marked as recyclable for many years, but I've never been able to recycle them in my area.

      Based on your comments, I presume plastic motor oil containers are accepted for recycling in the UK. Is this also true in Europe?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm ashamed to say I don't know the law and since I haven't changed my own oil for a many years I don't know if they would take the bottle, I would hope that the garage recycles the bottle one way or another.
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