Pesticide & Herbicide Packaging


Pesticide & Herbicide Packaging

No one is going to argue that chemical packaging is sexy or glamorous, but despite the comparatively simple appearance, there is a lot that goes into designing packing for chemical products like pesticides or herbicides.

Not only do these types of packages need to communicate basic information to the consumer about the brand and the product itself, they must also account for complicated factors such as: the stability of the packaging material when it is in contact with the chemical and vice versa; providing the appropriate safety information and all legally required labels in a way that doesn’t detract from the overall design; practical considerations, such as how the package will be handled during application of the chemical; and the logistics of how the packaging will be disposed of after use.

There is also the consideration of the type of consumer who will be using the product. The pesticide and herbicide sprays and concentrates you find at your local garden center will not have the same packaging as the bulk materials marketing to agricultural products distributors and farmers. Consumers who need pest management in their small home garden aren’t necessarily influenced by the same things when they look at packaging as larger-scale farmers are.

This is clear when you compare the average packaging design used for the home consumer market with the design used in the industrial market.

Notice how the home consumer product attempts to appeal more to the customer’s senses, using flashy colors and illustrations, with simple language. The industrial packaging is more utilitarian and contains technical information that someone in the agriculture business would want to have at a glance.

Roundup is manufactured by Monsanto, and is sold for the home consumer and widely used in conventional agriculture. Another of the biggest names in herbicides is Dow Agrosciences, a division of Dow Chemical. Their products look exactly like something you would expect to find in a laboratory, and to be frank, the packaging design doesn’t look like anything special. But you won’t believe how innovative this new packaging really is.


All of have a sort of uniformity to their packaging, with simple product logos that only differ in the color and product name. But behind the apparently simple aesthetic are some very interesting innovations in product packaging for these types of products:

  • The semi-transparent material makes it easier for spray operators to know how much product they have in the container.
  • The new PET (polyethylene tetraphthalate) material is up to 50% more lightweight than the standard PEHD material while being “practically unbreakable”.
  • On a molecular level, the inside of the container is many times smoother than traditional packaging materials. Why does that matter? The agricultural industry is required to rinse residual chemical out of these containers before disposing of them through the approved means. The smoother material means chemical residue is more easily rinsed out.
  • The packaging shape is designed to facilitate pouring without “glugging”.
  • The cap is designed to be easy-open, even when wearing gloves.
  • Both the cap and the jug are made of the same material, allowing them both to be disposed of in the same way.

So no, herbicide packaging isn’t and will never be glamorous, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important, and it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.