12 Ways to Communicating Sustainability Through Packaging

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Creating eco-friendly packaging is just one step to building a sustainable brand.

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Last Updated on March 21, 2024 by Packoi Team

You can have a bigger impact if you can find a way to use your packaging to inspire your market to practice sustainability.

If you want to create the best environmentally-friendly packaging, read the article “14 Eco-Friendly Packaging that Inspires Change.“.

Now, it’s time to learn how you can use it to communicate a message of sustainability to your customers.

In this article, you’ll understand the importance of eco-friendly packaging to influence your customers. You’ll also get 12 tips to communicate with them so they feel inspired to follow a more sustainable lifestyle.

How Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials Promote Sustainability

Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials

Your packaging design can be a powerful marketing tool. It can help increase your sales by attracting your customer’s attention. It can also influence your market’s perception of your brand.

That means if you want to start promoting the concept of sustainability to your target market, you need to start with your packaging.

How can eco-friendly packaging materials help people learn more about sustainability? There are three ways it can help.


With the right design, eco-friendly packaging can make people aware of important environmental topics.

For instance, you can add text that says “this packaging uses 100% recycled materials” or “This bioplastic has a lower carbon footprint” in your packaging. If you position it in a visible area or highlight it in a corner, it won’t be missed.

Once your customers see this, there’s a chance that they’ll be curious about it. You can provide a link in your packaging so your customers can read more about it.

The simple act of introducing the words sustainable, recycling, carbon footprint, etc – you’re already spreading awareness. This is the important first step before people can start implementing eco-friendly practices.

The more they know about it, the more they’ll be inclined to practice sustainability. They’re also more likely to support your company and your eco-friendly processes.


As a sustainable business, you’re in a position to help your customers practice sustainability. You can use your packaging to give them opportunities to be more eco-friendly, specifically with their waste.

One example is using refillable packaging to eliminate packaging waste. You can give customers a discount if they bring their container or have an old one refilled.

Or you can teach your customers how to dispose of their packaging properly. Explain to them how to remove the tags and segregate waste so it’ll be accepted in recycling plants.

You can use the surface of your eco-friendly packaging to give them information on how to do this. If necessary, you can give incentives to people who’ll choose to follow your instructions.

The more you encourage this behavior, the more likely they can develop the practice of sustainability.


Practicing sustainability can also inspire others to follow in your footsteps. Using eco-friendly packaging materials sends a message that you’re serious about helping the environment.

Just make sure that you’re transparent when it comes to your efforts. Give your customers details about what you’re doing and its effects on the environment. Highlight how they can help so they’ll know that they have an important role to play.

For instance, educate them about the use of bioplastics. Tell them how it’s reducing carbon emissions and minimizing waste in landfills.

This information could encourage them to avoid using plastic bags in other areas of their lives.

It’s also worth mentioning that it’s not just your customers that your sustainable ways will inspire. Your employees and business partners will also feel the same way. They’ll feel encouraged to practice sustainability even outside of the workplace.

12 Best Ways to Communicate Packaging Sustainability to Your Market

Your packaging is a marketing tool that can be used to send a message. So if you start using eco-friendly packaging, that in itself is a message of sustainability.

You’re giving customers the impression that environmentally friendly solutions aren’t just a trend. It’s not a fad that’ll go away.

It’s a new lifestyle that everyone should start adapting to.

It shouldn’t be hard for businesses like yours to adapt to this. The packaging industry is providing multiple solutions that can help you improve your packaging materials.

But even if you use eco-friendly packaging materials, you still have to design and set it up so it communicates the right message.

Here are 12 ways that you can use your packaging to give a strong message of sustainability.

1. Communicate Through the Packaging

Your packaging offers a space to send a message to your customers. Use that space to communicate with them to promote sustainability.

While having environmentally friendly packaging is good, not everyone will recognize the difference. They may see that you used paper-based packaging instead of plastic. But do you think they’ll see that you used fewer layers and fillers to reduce your carbon footprint?

Unless you specifically tell them, they might not notice.

So use your packaging to tell them about your efforts. Put the right label and logos to show them what you’re doing. Explain what each of these means.

If there’s not enough space, you can always put the details on a webpage. Just put the link on the packaging so your customers can read more if they wish.

2. Encourage Involvement

Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials

One of the details that you can put on the packaging is to encourage your customers to involve themselves in your efforts to be more sustainable.

You have to remember, that even if you provide recyclable packaging, if your customers don’t know how to use them, it’ll be for nothing.

So make sure you provide them with information so they can take part. For instance, encourage them to reuse the packaging.

Teach them how to repurpose it into something that they can use around the house. Ensure your custom packaging allows reusability so your customers can practice sustainability.

If they’re constantly getting involved in your sustainability practice, they’ll soon develop the habit themselves. That’s a huge win for everyone.

3. Explain Proper Disposal

One of the goals of eco-friendly packaging is to help reduce waste that ends up in landfills. Using recyclable materials is a perfect example of this.

But the thing about recycling is that the facilities have strict rules about the waste they receive. For instance, paper packaging may be recyclable, but if the print used on it isn’t eco-friendly, they won’t accept it.

You need to inform your customers about this. Proper waste disposal helps ensure that your packaging will be recycled.

Also, plastic bags are recyclable, but you must educate your customers that only specific types are accepted. This will help customers figure out how to dispose of their trash properly.

Explain what specific logos and labels mean.

Doing so will make things easier for recycling plants and other facilities down the line to segregate waste for recycling or repurposing.

4. Dedicate A Page to Sustainability

There’s just too much information about sustainability to fit in one packaging. So to provide your customers with a thorough understanding of eco-friendly packaging, dedicate a page on your website to explain further. Put the link on the packaging so they’ll know where to get more information.

Use that page to tell them about the recycled materials that you use in your eco-friendly packaging. Explain to them the sustainable alternatives that you researched and chose to use.

Every information you provide about sustainable materials can help them see opportunities they can use in their homes.

They can decide to stop using plastics and opt for paper packaging or reusable eco bags. Or your packaging methods can teach them to use fabrics instead of plastic bubble wrap.

Take advantage of the opportunity to teach your customers about sustainability. You can also use it to update them on other environmentally friendly efforts that are outside of your packaging.

5. Use QR Codes

If you don’t want to put links on the product packaging, use a QR code instead. That way, the customer can use that code to take them to a place where they can find out more about your sustainability efforts.

Incorporate the QR code in the design of your custom packaging solution. You can also use this code to inform the customer about the product and its eco-friendly packaging.

Or you can use it to give them instructions about a contest that they can join.

Just make sure this is positioned properly so people won’t ignore them. Give a bit of a hint about it.

This is a great way to communicate your sustainability plans to your customers.

6. Spread Social Media Awareness

Eco-Friendly Packaging Materials

How can you connect your packaging to social media? Encourage your customers to take a photo of your packaging and post it online. Give them a hashtag to use with the photo.

Make this a fun and engaging activity that’ll expose your eco-friendly packaging materials.

Maybe you can create a contest out of it and post it online. Give customers instructions on how to creatively transform your packaging to be used as decor at home.

This is one way to spread awareness about sustainable packaging while building rapport with your customer base.

The noise you’ll make on social media will also build your brand reputation as a sustainable business.

7. Maintain Authenticity

When it comes to sustainability, it’s very easy to exaggerate your efforts to impress your customers with your eco-friendly packaging.

But honesty in business should never be compromised. Don’t succumb to the lure of “greenwashing” to build a sustainable image for your brand. The concept of greenwashing refers to the exaggeration of being eco-friendly when it’s not true.

Like saying that eco-friendly packaging is 100% recyclable when it’s not because you used petroleum-based ink to print your designs. Or getting your “sustainable packaging” from doubtful sources.

Make sure you’re truthful about everything because if your customers find out that you’re not, that’ll ruin your brand image.

8. Launch Marketing Campaigns

Another way to communicate and inspire your target market to practice sustainability is through marketing campaigns.

You should do a campaign when you launch your eco-friendly packaging for the first time. But this isn’t the only time that you should do a campaign around it.

You can highlight your eco-friendly materials during specific global environmental celebrations. These include Earth Day, International Day of Forests, World Oceans Day, Zero Emissions Day, Energy Efficiency Day, and so much more.

Every time these events come up, highlight the eco-friendly materials that you use so your customers will know your advocacy. You can even create activities like a contest that involves your packaging. 

This will start conversations about your brand. The more people talk, the more chances that they’ll start recognizing and patronizing your brand.

9. Make it Interactive

When you create your marketing campaigns or when you promote sustainability on social media, make it interactive. Connect your customers with your brand and each other by creating online activities that’ll allow everyone to interact with each other.

One idea is to organize a contest where customers will think of creative ways to use custom packaging. The winner will get featured on the brand’s social media page and given freebies.

This will create excitement, so people will start to pay attention to your brand. This is a great way to communicate your advocacy because it makes the practice look fun. This will encourage more people to give it a try.

10. Teach Upcycling

Upcycling packaging

This is in connection with the previous one. When you ask customers to think of creative ways to convert your eco-friendly packaging materials into something else – that’s upcycling.

For instance, your packaging is a corrugated box. The customer can turn it into a storage box. They can reinforce it with twine or a thick rope to make it sturdy. Or they can cut out shapes and decorate them to turn them into decorative pieces around the house.

The whole idea of upcycling is to transform your eco-friendly packaging materials into something else without the need to be sent to a recycling facility.

Use the space in your packaging to give customers an idea of what they can do.

11. Show Commitment

Sometimes, the best way to ignite change is to show your commitment to doing it. So if you can show your customers that you’re fully committed to sustainability, they’ll follow you.

That means you shouldn’t just stop with eco-friendly packaging. You have to adapt sustainability in all of your processes.

Sustainable packaging is a start. You can start getting certifications to prove that you’re a green business. You can also join organizations and participate in tree-planting events.

There are many things that you can do outside of your packaging to prove your commitment to helping the environment. Show your market that you’re willing to take action to back up your words.

12. Inspire a Transformation

Sustainability isn’t about changing just one aspect of your business. It’s about changing everything to align with your eco-friendly packaging.

It’s about creating your product so it promotes sustainability. It’s about implementing processes and business operations that adhere to environmentally-friendly standards. It’s also about partnering with the right green companies and certified businesses.

That’s what it takes to inspire a transformation that can also change the lives of your customers.

Why do you need to do this? Why shouldn’t you stop with your sustainable packaging?

Because you want to stay authentic. You want your customers to see your genuine effort.

Do You Have a Specific Eco-Friendly Packaging Solution In Mind?

Packoi Printing Can Turn That Into A Reality. Using an eco-friendly packaging solution will bring a positive impact on the environment. But that’s not the best part.

Your packaging can be a powerful tool in convincing your customers to live a more sustainable lifestyle. If you can influence your market and they start making eco-conscious decisions – everyone wins in the long run.

One of the best ways to get started is to partner with the right packaging supplier to bring your eco-friendly plans to reality.

Packoi Printing is an FSC-certified company that practices sustainability on all fronts. If you want environmentally friendly packaging solutions, we can help.

Give us a call so we can discuss your plans. We’ll send you a fair quotation as soon as possible.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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