Sustainable Delight: turning coffee cups into stationery

Founded by Sarah and Mark, Coffeenotes sustainable stationery transforms takeaway coffee cups into exquisite writing paper, embodying the essence of mindful creation and circular economy practices. Join us as we explore the seamless fusion of style and sustainability in Coffeenotes' stationery range, from its minimalist design elements to its fountain pen-friendly functionality. With each notebook and paper, Coffeenotes invites you to embrace the joy of eco-friendly creativity and the simple pleasure of putting pen to paper.

Coffee notes - Sustainable stationary

Can you share the inspiration behind the creation of Coffee Notes Sustainable Stationery?

In 1991 our founders Sarah and Mark established a print business in Dorset. Passionate about sustainability, they made recycling part of family life as they raised five young boys while running a growing business. ‘I hate waste, so repurposing, upcycling and recycling have always been a family mission,’ says Sarah. ‘We pride ourselves on minimising the amount of the rubbish we put out each week both at home and at work.’


When lockdown temporarily shut the printing business in 2020, Mark and Sarah decided to use their experience in paper, print and design to create a genuinely sustainable, high-quality stationery range using UK and EU suppliers. Drawing on a pioneering process called  Cupcycling™  that transforms takeaway coffee cups into paper, the couple embarked on an exciting lockdown journey. The result is luxury sustainable stationery that is both stylish, and beautiful to write on and even fountain pen friendly. Our awardwinning Notebooks, Planners, Notepads an Sketchbooks are ideal for writing, sketching or even doodling. The covers are made from papers that are created by repurposing waste from food, drink, and textile manufacturing.


Today Coffeenotes™ reflects the joy and sense of purpose that comes with sitting down with a cup of coffee and a blank notebook. The Coffeenotes™ name and the sizes (Grande, Medio, Piccolo) are a nod to the origins of our signature cream writing paper which remains at the heart of our products. We aim to offer our customers genuinely sustainable stationery they can use every day and then recycle of compost so that absolutely nothing goes to landfill. Design elements are simple and minimalist, balancing function and style. Layouts are understated and flexible, providing structure without being prescriptive. We let the papers and their circular stories speak for themselves.

How does the concept of sustainability influence every aspect of Coffee notes, from product design to sourcing materials and suppliers?

Sustainability and Circularity of our production process is at the heart of our business model. We have used our experience and skills is printing, paper, and design to source and create something sustainable and special.


Across the world the environmental impact of stationery is significant. Most people mistakenly believe that you can recycle notebooks because they are made of paper, but many mass-produced notebooks use plastics, metal, glitter, textiles, glue, excessive ink, and foiling in their products, making recycling problematic as they are composite products and not easily recyclable and the products end up in landfill.


Unlike many mass-produced notebook manufacturers, Coffeenotes sustainable stationery are made with recycled and repurposed waste from coffee cups, food, drink, and textile processing. Every design element has been considered so that it makes it sustainable to produce, and easy for the customer to recycle. Eg. Wirebound spirals on our notebooks are never covered in plastic; a process common in most stationery that make it impossible to recycle and it ends up in landfill. We keep glue to a minimum preferring a ‘french fold’ design for our covers. There is no foiling, metal hooks, elastic or glitter and even the packaging has been repurposed, upcycled and is recyclable. Coffeenotes offset their carbon to make the production carbon neutral with our ongoing support for World Land Trust. Once finished, the stationery is completely recyclable with nothing going to landfill.  Every day we are looking to make things more sustainable. Coffeenotes is {re}writing our planet’s future.

Can you elaborate on the Cupcycling™ process and how it transforms takeaway coffee cups into the high-quality paper used in Coffeenotes' stationery?

Used coffee cups are collected across the UK and transported to specialist paper mill James Cropper in Cumbria. They have perfected the cupcycling process where the plastic liner from the cups is removed and used to fuel the process. The rest of the cup is then turned into high quality writing paper for us to use in Coffeenotes stationery.

Coffee notes

How do you ensure the durability and quality of Coffeenotes' writing paper, particularly its suitability for fountain pens and sketching?

We are all obsessed with the ‘bite’ of the paper and how the ink, or pen works across the page as you write. Using our knowledge of print and paper we have worked with Croppers to perfect our unique creamy rich sustainable paper that is a pleasure to write on but is durable too.

Could you walk us through the rsange of products offered by Coffeenotes?

We offer Notebook, Planners a wide range of beautiful colours and textures. All the paper is made from recycled coffee cups, but each collection is named after the repurposed waste that the covers are produced from. We have ‘Tailors’ made from repurposed textiles, ‘Fruit’ made from Fruit processing and even ‘Beer’ made from brewing waste. 

What is your standout product and why?

Everyone has a favourite and there is something that fits all your needs. Our Weekly Plannersare a big hit for office or home. They give you seven days on each page and are the perfect organiser tool to help you see your week at a glance. 

weekly planner by Coffee Notes

Can you share any memorable moments or milestones in the journey of Coffee notes, from its inception during lockdown to where it stands today?

Winning best sustainable product 2022 at the London Stationery Show was a big thrill for us; we were also awarded Marie Claire Sustainability Award last year which was fantastic. Getting mentioned in The Times and The Telegraph was great too! Getting the message out there to join the sustainable stationery revolution is something that drives us to make sure the stationery industry changes produce products in a circular process.

We noticed you use fruit extracts in some of your products, how does this work?

The fruit waste is extracted in the fruit processing production and instead of going into landfill it is repurposed and mixed into the paper pulp to give the body and texture to our covers in the Fruit collection which includes Cherry, Kiwi and Grape.

Are there any upcoming developments or initiatives from Coffee notes that customers can look forward to?

We have launched a monthly competition to win a sustainable stationery bundle every month if you are on our database. 

What advice would you give to individuals or businesses looking to incorporate more sustainable practices into their daily lives or operations?

We have a huge ecological issue with waste that needs to be recycled and repurposed 50 billion coffee cups a year are thrown into landfill. We all have to take responsibility for the ecological mess.

If you do nothing else please use a keep cup and buy sustainably made stationery – join the sustainable stationery revolution

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