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Pukka Packaging Policy

5-year goals and commitments from April 2022

Updated Jan 2023

Pukka’s purpose is to “nurture healthier, happier lives through powerful organic plants” and our mission is ‘to connect as many people as possible to the beauty and power of nature; we share our knowledge and campaign for a healthier world, always trying to lead by example’. Pukka’s aim for packaging is to extend the reach and impact of our herbal creations by using materials that protect the efficacy of our ingredients, whilst working towards a circular economy and minimising the impact on the environment.

We develop product and packaging in parallel, to ensure the best possible solution. Pukka is committed to net zero by 2030 and collaboration is key to achieving this. We are building a strong base of likeminded, collaborative partners and suppliers to ensure that everyone has access to the best information available to achieve sustainable packaging. Carbon reduction in Pukka packaging is our priority but we also consider other factors, such as the use of renewable energy, responsible water use, biodiversity and avoiding harmful chemicals. We want to see minimal and sustainable packaging become the norm, with infrastructure in place across the world to responsibly recycle materials.

This policy is supported by Pukka’s Mission Council (April 2022) and is fully compliant with Lipton Teas & Infusions Packaging policy, as Pukka’s parent company. The Pukka Packaging Working Group ensures the policy is achieved, working to a cross-functional rolling plan, the Pukka material hierarchy (to assess which materials to use in the development of our herbal creations) and Pukka Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) software tool.

In scope: All primary (e.g. tea sachets), secondary (e.g. tea cartons) and Pukka purchased tertiary packaging (e.g. shelf ready packaging and shrink wrap used at Lipton Teas & Infusions packing sites).

Out of scope: The scope of the packaging policy does not include our herbal creations (i.e. herbal blend raw materials). Shrink wrap used by third-party manufacturers (e.g. complete co-packing services).


1. All Pukka packaging will be made from 95% renewable or recycled materials per product by weight [1].

2. Pukka will not use single-use plastic.

3. Pukka will join global efforts to ensure that all packaging is recyclable, reusable or certified compostable [2], in practice.


1. Pukka uses beautiful and sustainable packaging which helps to deliver herbal efficacy at its best to our consumers, whilst using materials that exist in harmony with people and planet.

2. By 2025, all Pukka packaging will be deforestation and forest degradation-free, with a cut-off date of 1994. Pukka will not source packaging from Ancient and Endangered Forests, endangered species habitat, illegal logging or other controversial sources, including Canadian and Russian Boreal Forests; Coastal Temperate Rainforests; Tropical forests and peatlands of Indonesia, the Amazon and West Africa.

3. By 2023, all of Pukka’s paper, board and cellulose materials will only be sourced from certified forests and plantations (cleared pre-1994). Pukka has a strong preference for FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council), ideally FSC recycled. Uncertified material is not permitted in packaging.

4. Pukka supports forest conservation solutions through 1% For the Planet giving to balance Pukka’s annual greenhouse gas emissions (with TreeSisters and the World Land Trust).

5. All of Pukka’s paper, board and cellulose materials will be TCF (totally chlorine free), or PCF (process chlorine free), with EFC (elemental chlorine free) as a minimum standard.

6. Pukka will work with suppliers to ensure the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of local and indigenous communities has been obtained prior to logging.

7. Pukka will prioritise the use of alternative fibres for packaging including recycled content and Next Generation solutions, where possible and where food contact material regulations allow. We will also collaborate with Canopy and others within the Pack4Good initiative, innovative companies and suppliers to encourage the development of next generation solutions and paper and packaging sources that reduce environmental and social impacts, with a focus on agricultural fibres (particularly residues) and recycled content (post-consumer waste).

8. Pukka minimises single use packaging and prioritises multi-serve options [3].

9. Pukka prioritises widely recyclable materials and will only use compostable packaging where it provides an advantage for food safety, or where recyclable solutions to maintain food safety do not exist. We will focus on innovation for widely recyclable materials with advanced barrier properties to meet our product quality requirements.

10. In line with government and industry standards and definitions, our tea envelopes contain <5% polymer coating to protect the efficacy of our herbal ingredients and are fully recyclable in the paper waste stream. Where no alternatives currently exist and it does not impact the recyclability of the final material, Pukka allows up to 5% plastic in the form of inks, coatings and adhesives which are needed to meet Commitment [1]. We will continue to work with suppliers to identify and trial innovations that deliver a truly plastic-free envelope.

11. Pukka only uses GMO free (genetically modified organism) renewable materials and when possible, organically sourced packaging (i.e. cotton string on teabags).

12. Pukka only uses plants in our packaging when we are certain it does not negatively impact access to food and nutrition, especially in developing countries.

13. Pukka only sources conflict free aluminium (for the Aloe Vera bottle lid) and does not use heavy metals in our packaging.

14. Pukka does not use materials with animal derived by-products.

15. For Pukka primary packaging we do not use materials, inks, dyes or coatings that contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride), polystyrene or styrene [4].

16. For materials in direct contact with foodstuffs we do not use phthalates, BPA (bisphenol A) or BPS (bisphenol S) and are adding for review BPAF, BPB and BPZ.

17. Pukka always seeks to reduce the amount of packaging used, whilst balancing the protection of our products.

18. Pukka ensures that clear end of life information is provided on pack and digitally to consumers.

19. Pukka will move away from any fossil-based plastic and virgin glass in packaging, favouring renewable, recycled and compostable alternatives, in line with waste infrastructure improvements [5] but no later than 2025.

The goals and commitments outlined above are addressed through Pukka’s Packaging Working Group, which meet on a quarterly basis to review performance. Pukka also includes questions in a supplier questionnaire to ensure packaging meets Pukka’s Packaging Policy and requests evidence from suppliers to support their answers.

Where suppliers do not meet Pukka’s Packaging Policy, action is taken as per Pukka’s Supplier Relationship Policy.



Ancient and Endangered Forests are defined as intact forest landscape mosaics, naturally rare forest types, forest types that have been made rare due to human activity, and/or other forests that are ecologically critical for the protection of biological diversity. Ecological components of endangered forests are: Intact forest landscapes; Remnant forests and restoration cores; Landscape connectivity; Rare forest types; Forests of high species richness; Forests containing high concentrations of rare and endangered species; Forests of high endemism; Core habitat for focal species; Forests exhibiting rare ecological and evolutionary phenomena.


Agricultural Residues are residues left over from food production or other processes and using them maximizes the lifecycle of the fibre. Fibres used for paper products include cereal straws like wheat straw, rice straw, seed flax straw, sugarcane bagasse, and rye seed grass straw. Where the LCA (life cycle analysis) shows environmental benefits and conversion of forest land to on purpose crops is not an issue, kenaf can also be included here. (Agricultural residues are not from on purpose crops that replace forest stands or food crops.)


Origin material or feedstock from a biogenic origin; produced or brought about by living organisms. A material that is derived from biomass (plants) and is renewable.


Materials that have undergone a rigorous assessment and have been tested by third-party accredited bodies, to prove they break down in the compost system stated (e.g. home or industrial). Pukka is certified by TUV Austria.


Cellulose is an abundant, naturally occurring and renewable polymer, that forms the basic structural component of plant walls. Examples of cellulous materials include paper, card, hemp and abaca.


The circular economy is a systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. In our current economy, we take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, we stop waste being produced in the first place (Ellen MacArthur Foundation).


The date after which deforestation or conversion renders a given area or production unit non-compliant with no-deforestation or no-conversion commitments, respectively (Accountability Framework Initiative).


Defined as the loss of natural forest as a result of: i) conversion to agriculture or other non-forest land use; ii) conversion to a tree plantation; or iii) severe and sustained degradation6 (Accountability Framework Initiative).


End of life describes the state of a product or material once it has reached the end of its useful life and consumers intend to recycle or dispose of it.


Degradation refers to changes within a natural ecosystem that significantly and negatively affect its species composition, structure, and/or function and reduce the ecosystem’s capacity to supply products, support biodiversity, and/or deliver ecosystem services7 (Accountability Framework Initiative).


Origin material or feedstock from a biogenic origin; produced or brought about by living organisms. A material that is derived from biomass (plants) and is renewable.


Packaging that contains more than one serving of a product e.g. Pukka’s supplements contain 30 – 60 capsules, therefore the packaging can be described as multi-serve.


Primary packaging, typically in direct contact with product. Does not include Pukkaware components but does include Pukkaware packaging.


Plantations are areas planted predominately with non-native trees or other commercial plants. Forests comprised of native species can also be managed as plantations, including via single species plantings on sites that would normally support multiple species, exclusion of other species via herbicide applications, short logging rotations that preclude the development of forest composition and structure, and/or other practices.


Materials with large molecular chains of natural or fossil raw materials produced by chemical or non-chemical reactions. This includes plastics manufactured with modified natural polymers, or plastics manufactured from bio-based, fossil or synthetic starting substances, polymer-based rubber and biodegradable plastics.


Recycled material from the consumer waste stream (post-consumer recyclate), not post-industrial.


Materials that are continually replenished at a rate equal to or greater than the rate of depletion. At Pukka, renewable materials include glass (providing it contains a minimum of 50% recycled content), certified paper and card and plants such as bamboo and hemp (Ellen McArthur Foundation).


One that meets our Commitments, has a minimal transport carbon footprint, is a renewable material or contains the minimum level of recycled content (fossil-based material).


The repeated use of a product or component for its intended purpose without significant modification (Ellen McArthur Foundation).


A product or pack intended to be used just once or for a short period of time before being disposed of.


SRPs are products at the stage where they are sent to retail stores ready for immediate display. For Pukka, the SRP for tea is a box of 4 cartons.


A pack or material that is collected and recycled in over 75% of local authorities as per OPRL guidelines.


[1] Inclusive of inks, glues, varnish, coatings, foiling, tamper seals. Exclusive of product itself e.g. herbal ingredients 

[2] Pukka will work with Lipton Teas & Infusions to lobby governments in markets where improvements to infrastructure are required to ensure home and industrial composability is achieved in practice. 

[3] Single-serve and multi-serve will be assessed at the start of all product development (pre-Gate 0) using a defined checklist of herbal, quality, consumer and sustainability criteria. 

[4] The one exception to this is Pukka’s Aloe Vera Juice, where a PVC lining inside the lid is needed to ensure product quality. 

[5] Whereby at least 50% of consumers in the market can correctly recycle and compost Pukka’s packaging. Several European countries have food waste collections in place for households and many others are aiming to establish collections by 2025. Where infrastructure does not exist in markets for recycled or compostable Pukka packaging, Pukka will use life cycle assessments to choose the optimal solution. 

[6] This definition pertains to no-deforestation supply chain commitments, which generally focus on preventing the conversion of natural forests. Severe degradation constitutes deforestation even if the land is not subsequently used for a non-forest land use. Loss of natural forest that meets this definition is considered to be deforestation regardless of whether or not it is legal. The Accountability Framework’s definition of deforestation signifies “gross deforestation” of natural forest where “gross” is used in the sense of “total; aggregate; without deduction for reforestation or other offset.” 

[7] Degradation may be considered conversion if it: a) is large-scale and progressive or enduring; b) alters ecosystem composition, structure, and function to the extent that regeneration to a previous state is unlikely; or c) leads to a change in land use (e.g., to agriculture or other use that is not a natural forest or other natural ecosystem).

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