Castrol Aims for Paper Lube Packaging

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Castrol Aims for Paper Lube Packaging
Bottom view of tall old trees in an evergreen forest. Pulpex is a research and development collaboration between venture management company Pilot Lite and beverage manufacturer Diageo. The Pulpex technology forms bottles from wood pulp using 100% renewable feedstocks from responsibly managed forests. © Efired

Castrol recently announced a partnership with packaging technology company Pulpex – which has developed a technology that forms bottles from wood pulp – to design paper containers for use with Castrol’s lubricants.

Pulpex is a research and development collaboration between venture management company Pilot Lite and beverage manufacturer Diageo. The patented Pulpex technology, billed as first of its kind, forms bottles from wood pulp using 100% renewable feedstocks from responsibly managed forests. The companies claim the paper bottle offers a lower carbon footprint that is up to 30% less than that of polyethylene terephthalate, commonly referred to as PET.

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“Castrol is committed to examining the lifecycle of its existing and new products to see how they can be improved, extended, reused or recycled,” A.S. Ramchander, Castrol’s chief marketing officer, said in a news release. “We’re very excited to be working with Pulpex to explore how their technology” – initially designed for the fast-moving consumer goods category – “can be developed for lubricants as a replacement for our existing high-density polyethylene bottles.” Fast-moving consumer goods, or FMCGs, are products that are sold quickly at relatively low cost.

“Our initial work in adapting the Pulpex 100% PET-free bottle technology for use in oil packaging has been extremely positive,” Ramchander said. “Collaborating with innovation partners such as Pulpex is critical to developing novel solutions in this challenging category ….”

United Kingdom-based Castrol became the latest company to join the Pulpex partner consortium, which is a group of leading global consumer packaged goods companies committed to adopting Pulpex paper packaging. Launched in July 2020, the consortium includes PepsiCo, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare.

Last month Castrol launched its PATH360 strategy, which aims to deliver a more sustainable future by saving waste and reducing carbon. “One of Castrol’s aims is to halve its plastic footprint by 2030, and this partnership forms part of its plastic footprint reduction plant,” the company stated.

According to Pulpex’s website, the bottles are formed by pressurizing pulp in molds using highly advanced technology. The pulp containers are then cured in microwave ovens before being sprayed internally with specialized coatings designed to be compatible with the products they are holding. The company said it doesn’t use perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoralkyl chemicals in its packaging.

The bottles may be recycled the way paper products are typically recycled, the company said, and are designed to naturally degrade if they are not recycled or disposed of properly.

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