The good, the bad and the ugly.

Published: 24th August 2022

Started by Stephan Ango, this page is part of Slash Packaging, an open-source project encouraging companies to be transparent about their approach to packaging.

Shot taken by our good friend, Jimmy Coakley.


We know we’re not perfect, and we’ll never pretend to be.

There are a lot of buzzwords when it comes to sustainability, but ultimately there aren’t any right answers sustainable packaging, just a lot of wrong ones with varying negative impacts on varying areas.

Cupboard’s approach to packaging is this: avoid the really bad, reluctantly opt-in to the least bad, and actively seek out the better. Its an evolutionary approach.


Alongside our approach, there's a lot we could focus on, we've chosen to prioritise the following:

  • Avoid Plastic.
  • Focus on Reusability.
  • Support UK manufacturers.


for Coffee

Whilst our coffee bottles are undeniably made up of non-perfect elements (plastic lid liner and label adhesive being the least favourable), they come together to create a highly reusable solution with minimal plastic. The low-light and air-tight environment it creates is also perfect for keeping our coffee fresh.


Straight-up glass, made amber by mixing with natural impurities (iron, sulphur, and carbon).

  • Widely and easily recyclable.
  • Manufactured in the UK.


Unlike traditional labels made from multiple layers of plastic, our labels are 100% paper, which are then applied using a very small amount of adhesive (see below).

  • FCS Certified.
  • Widely and easily recyclable.
  • Printed in the UK.

Plastic (EPE)

This foam liner sits inside of the lids to enhance the barrier between the lid and the jar. It’s made of Expanded Polyethylene which is a type of Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE).

  • Widely and easily recyclable.
  • Manufactured in the UK.


Sturdy and forever recyclable, it’s a perfect fit for the jars.

  • Widely and easily recyclable.
  • Manufactured in the UK.


With the label being made entirely of paper, something has to hold it together. Currently, that a small strip of double-sided tape along each side, so that the label can stick to itself and the bottle.

Left on the jar or the label, it’s such a small amount that it doesn’t interfere with the recyclability of either.

for Shipping

We're still working on this section and will update it with better information shortly.

Cardboard & Paper

The packaging we use for shipping can change based on order sizes and where the parcel is heading, but in every case, we're only using cardboard and paper.

What about xyz?

If you’re reading the above and thinking “Huh, why not go all in on paper, or compostable materials, or [insert miracle material here]?”. We hear you, we’ve thought the same ourselves. This section has been added to address some of those queries.

  • Bio-plastic?
    Whilst bio-plastic might contain some natural elements, there’s nothing natural about bio-plastic. They’re still made using fossil fuels, they’re rarely recyclable, and they can still take hundreds of years to break down when they inevitably end up in landfills. Aside from that, many manufacturers are claiming that their plastic is bio-plastic, when in reality it’s just regular plastic, so you never really know what you’re buying into. A true bio-plastic has the potential to be amazing, but they just don’t exist yet.
  • Compostable?
    Compostable materials are one of the lesser evils, but ensuring it’s composted is where things get sticky. You’ve got commercially compostable materials that don’t compost at home, and many councils without compost collection. So, most of it ends up in landfill, and nothing breaks down in landfill - for hundreds of years at least.
  • Paper?
    It’s a reasonable choice, but when it comes to keeping coffee fresh, it’s just not a very strong contender it’s not even in the ring. In terms of environmental impact, it’s impossible to ignore where paper comes from and the impact that deforestation is having on our planet's ability to deal with extreme human-made emissions/pollution. That said, sourced responsibly, and used meaningfully, it can be a very valuable material.
  • Recyclable Plastic?
    Only a small handful of recycled plastic actually gets given a new life, and that life has a limit, as each time it’s recycled the quality degrades further till it’s no longer usable, and we’re once again left with the issue of it’s disposal. At the end of the day, plastic is plastic. It being recyclable is better than it not, but the cost we’re all paying for plastic is gigantic.