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Turning Coffee Cups into Beautiful Art: How Hallmark UK Launched a New Sustainable Collection of Greeting Cards

What happens when an ordinary coffee cup isn’t tossed in the trash? It is recycled and turned into a beautiful work of art! That is what Hallmark UK did when it partnered with James Cropper, a local paper mill in Cumbria, England. As the creators of a first-of-its-kind innovative process called “CupCycling®,” James Cropper was able to remove the plastic liner on fast food and coffee shop cups and then turn the remaining fibers into beautiful paper used for greeting cards.

“It is gratifying to know that we are taking what once held a morning coffee and giving it new life as something equally, if not more, satisfying—a thoughtful greeting card,” said Natalie Bartlett, Hallmark UK’s product manager. “With every cup James Cropper is able to upcycle, we are putting less waste into the landfill and more treasured moments into the hearts of our consumers.”

The 44-card collection features a variety of styles, editorial copy, recipients and color palettes, making the cards easy to shop for any occasion while caring for the environment. Initially launched with everyday sending situations, Hallmark UK has expanded it to include holidays such as Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Each card includes a tear-off tab stating “I used to be a coffee cup” as well as a description of the product’s lifecycle on the back. Additionally, the cards are featured prominently in many stores with a display that features a large coffee cup, so customers are instantly drawn to the collection and its sustainability story.

Since Hallmark UK launched this collection in October of 2019, it has printed more than 1.5 million cards with plans to continue growing. Watch the video.


The feedback we’ve received from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. They are particularly impressed to know that not only did this card come from a coffee cup but that the card and the envelope can both be recycled or can be kept for years to come.

Natalie Bartlett
Product Manager
Hallmark UK

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