Jerry cans are common containers for fuel, water and other liquids since the 1930s. It became a popular liquid storage during the World War 2, and has seen several adaptations and redesigns since it was first developed by German engineer, Vinzenz Grunvogel, in 1937.
There are two types of jerry cans. The first one is the steel jerry can, developed by the Germans and later adapted by the Americans. The second, and newer, version, is the plastic jerry can, designed by Finnish designer, Eero Rislakki, in 1970.
While the original steel jerry can has more history than its plastic counterpart, many users now prefer the plastic version. Here are four reasons why:
- More durable – While steel is more heavy-duty than plastic, it is more prone to corrosion and rust. This makes contamination more likely, especially when the cans are carrying dangerous chemicals. Manufacturers of plastic jerry cans also run a series of endurance tests on their products to see their limits. This assures users that their containers will not leak or burst, as long as they follow the prescribed volume limit by the jerry can companies.
- Less expensive – Metal is generally more expensive than plastic, because their raw materials are harder to find. Buying a good jerry can is a better investment not only because it is cheaper per piece, but also because it usually lasts longer, so you get more for your money’s worth. You can also purchase a recycled plastic container, since they usually cost less. Just make sure you check first what it was previously used for. For instance, make sure you do not store water in a can that previously held a poisonous chemical, since this will only contaminate your water, even when the container has been cleaned and sanitized before resale.
- Lighter – Plastic is lighter than metal. This makes plastic jerry cans more portable compared to steel ones. While an empty steel can is only slightly heavier than an empty plastic one, this weight difference can affect the transport of filled containers. For instance, a delivery truck can carry more plastic jerry cans filled with petrol than it could carry steel jerry cans, because the extra weight per container piles up and adds to the total weight of the cargo.
- More environment-friendly – Because plastic jerry cans last longer, you can reuse them more times than steel cans. Aside from helping you save money, it also saves the environment. Remember that plastic is non-biodegradable, so the more plastic you keep in use, the less waste you throw out.
Plastics are also recyclable, so many manufacturers use old plastic to make new jerry cans. While you do not contribute to the production of non-biodegradable waste, you are also helping to reduce them.
Now that you know the advantages of plastic jerry cans over the steel version, consider buying them the next time you need a liquid container. Aside from helping the environment, you can also save money and effort at the same time.