Call for 'latte levy' to cut cup waste is backed by MPs
05 January, 2018, 13:43 | Author: Irene Delgado
Parliament's environmental audit committee highlights today Britain's use of 2.5 billion coffee cups a year, which it says is enough to circle the planet five and a half times. The charge on disposable cups would be paid by consumers on top of the price of their coffee, and would be lowered as the recycling rate improves, it said.
The UK throws away 2.5bn coffee cups each year, the committee was told.
Disposable cups can not be recycled by the normal systems because they are made from cardboard with a tightly bonded polyethylene liner, which is hard to remove, and means they are not accepted by paper mills.
They want United Kingdom ministers to impose a 25p "latte levy" per cup, on top of the coffee price, to fund better recycling and reprocessing systems.
The money raised should be spent on improving "binfrastructure", MPs said, including better recycling points around the country, including in workplaces.
Chef and environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: "The committee has recognised that the huge mountain of disposable coffee cups is effectively unrecyclable, and is overwhelming and disrupting the nation's waste disposal systems, ultimately polluting our rivers and seas, and needs urgent action".
Ministers are already looking at the plans amid a shake-up of waste management in the United Kingdom after the Chancellor hinted at a review of non-recyclable packaging in his Budget past year.
"Whether or not the Government is willing to consider a levy, there is still a lot more work to be done by all the stakeholders involved to develop a sensible solution to this very modern waste problem".
ACE also stated that it is working with local authorities and waste management organisations to include disposable cups in kerbside collections.
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"We will begin the trial in February and initially it will last for three months", the firm said, adding that it continued to offer a 25p discount to customers who brought their own reusable cups.
You may not know it, but taxpayers (you and me) pay for 90% of the cost incurred disposing of coffee cups.
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'Taxing the morning coffee run will not address the issue of litter but it will hurt consumers and impact already struggling high streets'. "Anything that would help facilitate the recycling of these cups is a good thing", he said.
Starbucks also began trialling a fully-recyclable coffee cup, invented by the entrepreneur and engineer Martin Myerscough, in some of its United Kingdom branches in June a year ago.
The charge could lead to a reduction in the use of disposable cups of between 50-300m per year, according to evidence submitted to MPs.
Numerous cups are printed with the three-arrow triangular "Mobius loop" symbol that eight out of ten people think means they can be put in the recycling.
The committee's recommendations were welcomed by environmental campaigners.
"Only by treating this issue as one that is the responsibility of both industry and consumers will re-use become the norm".
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