A meaningful reminder on sustainability: When explicit and implicit packaging cues meet

Giulia Granato*, Arnout R.H. Fischer, Hans C.M. van Trijp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable packaging innovations are becoming increasingly available in the marketplace. However, their communication to consumers remains a challenging task, as neither their distinctiveness nor their higher sustainability level is recognized. Contributing to research in environmental psychology, the current work conceptualized and tested the new concept of Meaningful Reminder as a strategy to communicate such distinctiveness and higher sustainability. To understand how a meaningful reminder can be created and used, this research investigated how eco explicit (logos, labels and statements) and implicit packaging design cues (auditory, tactile and visual elements) combine and interact and how such a combination can be used to the advantage of sustainability, to increase sustainability salience, perception and sustainable disposal behavior of the packaging and its content. Across three lab studies and different measures (lexical decision task, thought listing task, self-reported scales and observations of consumers’ disposal behavior), we identify the conditions under which combining explicit and implicit cues can be counterproductive, not leading to any increase or even a decrease in sustainability salience and perception. However, under different conditions, we show how sustainability salience, perception of packaging sustainability and even consumer sustainable disposal behaviour can be positively affected.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101724
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Explicit cues
  • Implicit cues
  • Packaging design
  • Sustainability communication
  • Sustainability perception
  • Sustainable behavior


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