Overcoming Print Challenges on Eco-Friendly Packaging

Overcoming Printing Challenges on Eco-Friendly PackagingGoing green is all the rage these days. There hasn’t been such a strong focus on sustainability since the 1960s and 1970s. This change in consumer tastes has had a profound impact on the business community. All businesses share one thing in common, packaging. Everyone uses packaging. Presently, companies are being pressured into using eco-friendly packaging. Although the shift towards sustainable packaging is great for the environment, it’s putting a strain on businesses. It can be challenging to print this way.

Here are some tips to help navigate the difficulties of printing on eco-friendly packaging.

Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Packaging

There are many different ways to define eco-friendly packaging.  Recycled materials can be difficult to print on. Some eco-materials are hard to make look brand new.

Sustainable packaging comes in all shapes and sizes. There are eco-friendly boxes, envelopes, bags, tags, cards, sleeves, and inserts. Some companies who prefer a sustainable image will use this packaging on everything. Other brands can get away with using this packaging on a few items and use conventional packaging on the rest.

Printing Challenges with Using Sustainable Packaging

One of the biggest challenges that companies face when printing on eco-friendly packaging is that their printers aren’t designed for it. Some of these materials are not printer-friendly. With such stubborn material, many companies end up with shoddy yet sustainable packaging.

When you’re printing on recycled material, it’s not easy to make the color come out as vibrant as it should be. Brand colors are critical to the success of any business. If using eco-friendly packaging makes it hard to print your brand colors accurately, it’s a liability.

Brand colors have a more significant impact on purchasing decisions than you might think. Creative Directors and other marketing experts know the importance of brand colors. They also know the importance of consistency. Depending on how stubborn the material is, you might have to look for an alternative, primarily if it’s affecting color consistency.


The challenges of using eco-friendly materials go far beyond difficulties with the printer. Eco-friendly packaging is safer on the environment but hard on the pocketbook. It’s generally more expensive than other more conventional materials.

Savvy Alternatives to Sustainable Packaging

While many companies have grudgingly embraced this type of packaging, others have found savvy alternatives. For one thing, you have to think about your brand. Does eco-friendly packaging jive with your brand image? Does it appeal to your demographic?

Some brands don’t necessarily mix well with eco-friendly packaging, and neither do the customers of such brands. For example, say you’re are in the business of producing automotive parts or chemicals. Your customer base probably won’t be attracted to eco-friendly packaging anyway. If anything, they’ll be turned off by it because it will represent an unnecessary expense, one that falls unto them as the ultimate consumer.

If your company is in the manufacturing arena or heavy industry, you should not be as concerned about using sustainable packaging. Lucky for you, it also means that you will be freed from any of the associated printing complications.

If, however, you are stuck with using eco-friendly packaging to appease the customers in your industry, you still have some options available. For starters, you can even sport your packaging as eco-friendly without printing on sustainable packaging. Just use eco-friendly ink on conventional packaging and call it sustainable. Voila, problem solved!


There is a big push in the market for eco-friendly packaging. The trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. So it’s important to look at how to begin investing and to figure out the potential challenges. The sooner you start, the sooner you can make a move to something consumers want.

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