Designing for Packaging Sustainability: The Effects of Appearance and a Better Eco-Label on Consumers Evaluations and Choice

S.C. Krah, Tea Todorovic, Lise Magnier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
100 Downloads (Pure)


The environmental burden of packaging is huge. However, redesigning packaging to make it more sustainable without damaging its other functions is not always easy and can have a negative impact on consumers’ choice. In this paper, we adopt a user-perspective and test the effects of packaging appearance and a better eco-label on consumers’ responses. Based on the literature, we designed an eco- label using a traffic light system with an objective sustainability score enabling to compare the sustainability of different packages. The results of our experimental study (N=120) show that while a sustainable (vs. typical) appearance in packaging has a positive effect on perceived sustainability, it has a negative effect on perceived usability. However, we demonstrate that the presence of a high score on the eco-label positively impacts the perceived sustainability of both the sustainable and the typical packages and the choice intentions. This eco-label also enabled to mitigate the negative effects of the sustainable appearance on perceived usability. Designers and policy-makers can use the results of this paper to positively influence evaluations of and choice for sustainable packaging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 22nd InternationalConference on Engineering Design (ICED19)
EditorsPetra Badke Schaub, Maaike Kleinsmann
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventICED19 : 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Aug 20198 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
ISSN (Print)2220-4334


ConferenceICED19 : 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design


  • Communication
  • Eco-label
  • Ecodesign
  • Packaging
  • Sustainability


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