Call for 'latte levy' to cut cup waste is backed by MPs

05 January, 2018, 13:40 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Some fear the cost of the levy will be passed on to the consumer

Introduce a 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups - this 25p charge is paid by the customer - there's no charge if you bring a reusable cup.

In a recently published report, a House of Commons committee said the Government had "sat on its hands" as disposable coffee cup waste has grown to an estimated 25,000 tons per year.

Cropper takes cups collected by coffee retailers instore recycling bins, removes the plastic and turns them into luxury paper and packaging products.

Mr Palmer-Jones said: "For any so-called latte tax to be more than just a light and frothy foam nod to reform, we need to wake up and smell the real coffee needed for a lasting brew". Nearly none are recycled and half a million a day are littered.

In the United Kingdom 2.5bn takeaway coffee cups are used and thrown away each year - enough to stretch around the world five-and-a-half-times.

Just five retailers have taken up Cropper's cup recycling initiative and the firm has recycled just 10m cups following a target of 500 million a year.

Although disposable coffee cups are recyclable, EAC say that most are not recycled, due to the cups' bonded plastic liner and the difficulties of recycling packaging that has been contaminated by food or drink. The three-month trial will begin in February.

Sandwich chain Pret a Manger has announced that it is doubling the discount for customers who bring in reusable cups to 50p. If an effective recycling system is not established and achieves high levels of recycling by this date, the Government should ban disposable coffee cups.

The chain will partner with charity Hubbub to launch the London-based trial, and money generated from the charge will be used for studies into behaviour change and attitudes towards the uptake of reusable cups. It was the EAC's recommendations of banning microbeads that bolstered government into doing so (the full ban comes into effect this coming July).


He said he had tried, but failed, to source easily recyclable cups.

However, the difficulties surrounding the recycling of coffee cups are manifold: not only are recycling capabilities limited but the majority of cups go straight into the general waste.

"The evidence is clear that these levies work - the 5p charge on plastic bags has massively reduced usage and helped protect our environment". "The government must do the same and introduce the levy as soon as possible".

The world loves going to coffee shops and gulping down large amounts of caffeinated beverages, but MPs aren't too impressed about the number of cups they produce.

Improve labelling to educate consumers about how to dispose of their cup.

"By singling out disposable cups the committee is, by its own admission, looking for United Kingdom coffee retailers and their cup providers to underwrite the waste management of all packaging used on the go", he said.

The committee's report states: 'There is no excuse for the reluctance we have seen from Government and industry to address coffee cup waste.

It recommended that a 25p tax should be applied to single use cups to encourage consumers to use alternatives.

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