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How to protect the environment when using generators and other plant  machinery outside

Generators and a variety of other plant machinery run on fuels that are not environmentally friendly. Often, the machines will drip fuel that will be absorbed into the ground, but this can easily be avoided with drip (or spill) trays.

There are three types of spill trays that can be used for generators and other plant machinery. If you use a generator, it is never too late to invest in some drip trays and become a more environmentally friendly company.

Basic drip tray

Basic drip trays for generators are very simple and self-explanatory. They look like any other tray but are made from a tougher type of plastic. They are easy to set up and do not need any accessories. You just need to position the tray under the generator or other machinery and the tray will collect the dripping fuel.

Basic trays come in a variety of sizes to fit under any generator and as they are a simple tray, they are cost-effective. As an added bonus they are extremely easy to use.

However, there is a downside to using a basic tray in an outside environment. In rainy and snowy weather the tray can fill with water, which will mix with the fuel collected in the tray and potentially cause an overflow into the soil. If something like this happens you need to call and report this to the local authorities so measures can be taken.

Plant Nappy

The Plant Nappy is a tray made from special hydrophobic materials so it retains oils while repelling water-based fluids. The base is made from woven fabric coated with olefin resin. This is a non-permeable fabric, laminated with an oil soak filter. The top cover is made from vinyl-coated polyester mesh with permeable top fabric to allow free passage of contaminants. The side walls are constructed from permeable foam that filters water but not oil.

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Apart from filtering water and retaining oils the Plant Nappy is also resistant to UV rays and fire. All of this makes it perfect for any kind of weather.

The downside of the tray is that it is one of the most expensive options on the market. Another minus in that Plant Nappy products only come in smaller sizes.


The Spilltector is a more affordable option but it is still significantly more costly than a basic tray. It features an absorbent laminate tray that consists of four layers:

Base layer – hydrophobic pads that absorb oils and fuels

Evo layer – burst-fibre cotton technology for oil retention

Hydrophobic layer – resists rainwater and only retains oil and fuel

Top layer – tough plastic mesh grid that prevents damage from machinery

Spilltector combines the best features of a basic tray and a Plant Nappy. It is long-lasting but the mat needs to be replaced when soiled.

You need to have a stock of the absorbent mats and replace them when needed to get the most of your Spilltector. The tray will not work without the laminate trays so you may need to have a few back-ups.