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usage, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water consumption, and discarded material. This is largely driven by the flexible pouch using about one-third of the material of a rigid bottle, which results in less energy used in manufacturing and transporting of the package materials and associated environmental impacts. (“A Holistic View of the Role of Flexible Packaging in a Sustainable World by Todd Bukowski and Michael Richmond, PhD PTIS, LLC”- Flexible Packaging Association)

If we go deeper based on the results of this study, note that in the comparison, cap and spout are not included, only the bottle and bag’s raw material.

passenger transport looks likely to gain significance over the next decade as more countries and municipalities around the world implement measures to reduce carbon, particulate, and other emissions. This slowing of growth, and especially the decline in demand in Europe and North America, has some serious implications for lubes companies.” (“Impact of electric vehicles on lubricants demand” – Energy Insight by McKinsey)

Electric vehicles (EV) use significantly less amount of lubricants than combustion engine vehicles. The market for transportation lubricants is expected to start shrinking in the years to come.

Taking into consideration the difference in weight of 37.3 grams per pack unit, if 10 million bottles were filled, we could save 373 tonnes of plastic.

Going a bit further and “translating” these results in terms of economic costs, the results are also remarkable (we have used raw material prices from May 2021 have been used here. The index for HDPE blown and HDPE flexible resins is extracted from Platt’s Euro Contract Assessments Germany”).

Raw material cost:

Most lubricant producers are likely to face a decline in turnover margins; even when EV use more sophisticated and expensive lubricants than combustion engine vehicles. A fierce battle is expected by lubricant manufacturers where brand positioning, cost reductions and consumer loyalty will be the key to success. In addition, EV manufacturers are likely to tie their brands’ peripheral products and consumables to more sustainable solutions. Clearly, lubricant manufacturers who move to more cost-effective and sustainable packaging for their products, will have a competitive advantage in this rapidly changing market.

So, by producing 10 million units of automotive fluid packs, the difference in raw material cost is only €727,460.

In September 2017, McKinsey published a study in which they forecast what we can expect in a future market for motor oil lubricants. The data and information they shared leaves few doubts (“Impact of electric vehicles on lubricants demand” – Energy Insight by McKinsey).

“As the move to electric vehicles steadily gains speed, there are implications for oil product markets, including light vehicle lubricants, which could see demand begin to fall in Europe and North America by 2030. The trend towards electrification of road


The flexible stand-up-pouch type of packaging product is widely adopted by consumers in many end-use markets, especially in high-growth and emerging markets, due to its low cost and low environmental footprint compared to traditional packaging formats. Stand-up pouches protect the product, are easy and convenient to use, have outstanding presence on market shelves, can be fully decorated across the whole pack, are adaptable for many types of spouts and closures to suit most application and consumer needs, are re-closable, create less waste than conventional rigid containers, are recyclable and use far less plastic than rigid containers.

Isn’t it about time automotive fluids manufacturers start thinking “flexible”?


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