DEEP: Spill Proof Gas Cans

Spill-Proof Gas Cans

According to a recent report, Americans spill 17 million gallons of fuel each year while refilling their gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. That’s more petroleum than the Exxon Valdez spilled in the Gulf of Alaska. And it happens every year.

Old fashioned plastic gasoline containers evaporate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produce smog, reduce our air quality and can be directly harmful to your family. Gas spills may even find their way into the ground and contaminate the water table.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to this problem. New, “spill proof” gas cans are now available.

{Picture of spill-proof gas can}

Beginning May 2005, all gas cans sold in Connecticut must meet certain “no-spill” requirements and be CARB (California Air Resources Board) approved. 

Can I still use my old cans?
Yes, you can continue to use your old gas can for as long as it lasts, but you may want to consider replacing it to protect your family’s health and the environment.

Why are spill-proof gas cans better?
These new containers have an automatic shut off feature to prevent overfilling and remain sealed when not dispensing fuel. Plus, they’re made of a material that prevents gas vapors from escaping. In short, the new gas cans reduce harmful emissions by up to 75%. 

  • Saves Fuel (and money!)—gasoline can leak, spill and evaporate from conventional gas cans.
  • Protects Your Family’s Health—gas vapors contain toxic compounds that can be harmful to your health.
  • Better Indoor Air—spill-proof cans reduce the odors and vapors that conventional cans release into the air in your car, garage or shed.
  • Better Outdoor Air—spill-proof gas cans reduce the amount of vapors released into the air, vapors that contribute to ground-level ozone (“smog”).

You CAN help clean the air and prevent water pollution, but only if you use your new gas can correctly. 
The same features that make the new CARB gas cans better for you and the environment may also make them slightly more difficult to use. It is very important to read and follow the directions for the particular type of spill proof gas can you buy. Altering the can’s functions (punching holes to vent, etc.) in any way may cause more spills and let more vapors escape than if you continued to use a traditional gas can. 

What do I do with my old can?
Gasoline from an old container should be used first or carefully transferred to the new container. Never pour gasoline onto the ground or down a drain. Always properly dispose of your old can. Empty containers may be put out with the regular household trash. 

How can I find out more?
Please call (860) 424-3000.


You CAN help protect the environment

“Protecting the environment today requires a new approach – one where we educate individuals about the choices they make and how those choices can help protect our natural resources,” said Gina McCarthy, Commissioner of the DEP. 

"Purchasing one of these new spill-proof containers is one of those choices. As consumers plan their home projects, including spring, summer and fall gardening chores along with their winter snow clean-up activities, they can make a difference in improving the environment by choosing a spill-proof gasoline container when re-fueling their gasoline powered yard equipment."