Liquid Chemical Packaging Materials Compared


Posted by Gayle Mitalski - 27 March, 2023

Your chemical products are unique, which means your liquid chemical packaging needs are too. There are a variety of liquid chemical packaging materials and options, and it can be difficult to know what is best for your specific product. Depending on your industry and the product you’re packaging, you could require anything from large bulk containers down to small individually filled bottles.

At Royal Chemical, we have the versatility to package both liquid and powder chemical products in sizes 16 ounces and up. In this article, we’re going to focus on the types of liquid chemical packaging materials available and what you need to consider when deciding what the best option is for your chemical product. Remember, when you partner with a reputable chemical manufacturer, they’ll have the expertise to come up with a chemical packaging solution that’s customized to your business.

Common Liquid Chemical Packaging Materials

The most common materials for liquid chemical packaging are plastic and metal, and the containers that are typically made of these materials include bottles, pails, drums, totes, bulk tank trucks and bulk rails.

Reference this chart to easily see what type of chemical packaging is available in each material.








Bulk Tank Truck

Bulk Rail


Each liquid chemical packaging material has factors to consider as you’re determining what the best solution is for your product.



  • Durable
  • Versatile. Depending on the type of plastic you need for your products (high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, etc.), you’ll likely be able to find a plastic container that can meet its chemical compatibility, temperature and impact resistance requirements.
  • Lightweight, which means lower transportation costs
  • Cheaper to produce


  • Not as easy to recycle and not biodegradable
  • Can absorb the product in it

Environmental Impact: Because plastic is lightweight, it requires less gas and oil to transport than other liquid chemical packaging materials, making it a more eco-friendly option.

Industries That Commonly Use Plastic Packaging: Industrial and household cleaning products



  • Can hold flammable and combustible chemicals
  • Provides excellent protection for transportation of chemicals. While Royal Chemical does not transport flammable or combustible chemicals, many of the materials for liquids we provide are lined because of the corrosive nature of most cleaning products requiring metal drums.


  • Can corrode over time
  • Must be grounded/bonded to prevent igniting a flammable chemical

Environmental Impact: Metal containers are more chemically reactive than other liquid chemical packaging materials, which means they can corrode, causing the chemical to leech into the environment.

Industries That Commonly Use Metal Packaging: Industrial and metal cleaning

When Does It Make Sense to Use Bulk Packaging?

Many chemical companies today are buying in bulk. The major benefits include cost savings due to having more product shipped less often and flexibility – with today’s unpredictable supply chain, it’s wise to have more product on hand than you might need right now. If you are packaging and shipping hazardous materials in bulk, metal and plastic drums, tank trucks and bulk rail are popular options. Learn what chemical manufacturers need to know about bulk vs. non-bulk packaging.

What’s the Best Liquid Chemical Packaging Material For Your Product?

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to using any type of liquid chemical packaging material. What’s most important when packaging your liquid chemical (in addition to blending and transporting it) is safety. Consider the safety of employees, shipping crews and customers when determining a packaging solution for your chemical. You also need to think about what is best for your product and brand. You want to be a leader in your industry and the chemical manufacturer you partner with should help you get there, guiding you through the packaging solution process along the way.

Royal Chemical’s Liquid Chemical Packaging Solutions

At Royal Chemical, we’re committed to finding the liquid chemical packaging solutions that are going to fit each customer’s individual needs. Our liquid packaging capacities range from 2.5 to 5,000 gallons and our powder/solids packaging ranges from 2,000 to 6,000 pounds. We have bottling capabilities at three of our five locations, with eight bottling lines that can efficiently fill 8-ounce to 2.5-gallon bottles, as well as powder jar-filling and powder pack lines. Download our packaging catalog to learn more.

Download our Packaging Catalog

Topics: Liquid Chemical Blending, Packaging