United Kingdom government urged to introduce 25p latte levy on disposable coffee cups

A cross-party committee called for urgent action to curb the mountain of up to five billion disposable coffee cups dumped each year in the UK almost none of which are recycled

A cross-party committee called for urgent action to curb the mountain of up to five billion disposable coffee cups dumped each year in the UK almost none of which are recycled

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.

David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ recycling and recovery United Kingdom said: "Taxes on takeaway coffee cups may provide a helpful nudge to consumers to abandon a throw-away culture, but for lasting change, proposals like these need to be part of wider, joined-up reform that shifts the burden of responsibility for all forms of packaging content, recyclability and ultimately their collection, back to the producer". There is no excuse for the ongoing reluctance from Government and industry to address coffee cup waste.

Welsh ministers are considering asking for powers to tax the cups and other plastics that are hard to recycle.

Some coffee shop chains - Starbucks and Costa - had shown initiative in introducing on-site recycling bins for cups, which they then sent to one of three specialist recycling facilities. Half a million cups are thrown away every day, with nearly all of them incinerated, exported or landfilled.

"The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year - that's enough to circle the planet five and a half times. If a sustainable recycling system for disposable coffee cups can not be set up by this date, they should be banned". The trial will begin next month and initially last for three months.

Sandwich chain Pret a Manger has announced that it is doubling the discount for customers who bring in reusable cups to 50p. Others include a target for all disposable coffee cups to be recycled by 2023, with a ban on all disposable coffee cups if the target is not met. It's also been suggested that the cups be phased out, with a full ban by 2023.

The consultancy, which is a charity, will use the funds to run a behaviour change study, helping Starbucks to understand how the public can be encouraged to choose reusable drink containers.

A latte levy is only the start when it comes to tackling coffee cup waste

"Finally, we will continue to remind customers through our in-store marketing about the ongoing 25p cup discount and the benefits of going reusable".

You may not know it, but taxpayers (you and me) pay for 90% of the cost incurred disposing of coffee cups.

The Daily Mail has led calls to "curb the cups" and crack down on plastic, campaigning to protect the environment with measures such as a deposit scheme for plastic bottles and the 5p levy on disposable plastic carrier bags.

Additionally, it said that producers needed to pay more for packaging that proved hard to recycle, and that labeling needed to be improved so that consumers knew how to properly dispose of their cups.

"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.

This comes after the success of the plastic bag 5p tax which saw an 85% reduction in the amount of single-use plastic bags handed out, taking 6 billion plastic bags out of circulation in just the first year of the tax being in force.

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