MPs propose 25p 'latte levy' on coffee cups

08 January, 2018, 03:59 | Author: Luis Fowler
  • Experts estimated a 25p levy could raise £438million and lead to a 30 per cent reduction in the number of cups as more people carry their own. Last night Starbucks became the first firm to break ranks saying it would pilot a 5p charge in selected store

"We need to reduce the number of cups out there", says Thomas.

"If more people used reusable coffee cups there would be less waste, which would reduce the burden on local authorities".

A Government review is due to report at the end of this month. Starbucks is trialling a 5p charge per cup in as many as 25 of its central London outlets.

According to a report released by EAC on Friday (5 January), the United Kingdom produces 30,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste each year and an eye-watering 500,000 cups are thrown away each day.

Numbers of the throwaway cups have hugely increased in recent years.

"The UK has woken up and smelled the coffee cup nightmare", celebrity chef and environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, said in a statement welcoming the report.

Foster added that it would also encourage cafes to use "traditional cups and mugs rather than hand out single-use cups".

However, the London trial, which will run for three months starting in February, is an important first step by the U.S. chain - and the proposals are a victory for the Daily Mail's Curb the Cups campaign. At this scale, only one in every 400 cups is recycled.

It says that today 1.8% of its customers use reusable cups and that now it costs £1 to buy one from Starbucks.

Britain's biggest coffee chain, Costa, gives a 25p discount. They're made with strong paper fibres and polyethylene. In theory, both the paper and the lining are recyclable.

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"They recycle the paper fibre for use in premium papers".

Just three specialist mills in the United Kingdom are equipped to deal with them. As a result just six million - 0.25% - are recycled. If this target is not achieved, the Government should ban disposable coffee cups'.

Starbucks says that it has already tried to change consumer behaviour by discounting reusable cups at the point of sale. This would cut costs for coffee retailers, who would need to purchase and dispose of fewer cups.

But industry body The Paper Cup Alliance rejected the report's recommendations. The UK has just three facilities capable of recycling disposable cups. We are committed to increasing recycling rates.

"Taxing the morning coffee run will not address the issue of litter, but it will hurt consumers and impact already struggling High Streets".

Unlike other items, coffee cups cannot be recycled as they are made from cardboard with a tightly bonded polyethylene liner, which is hard to remove and means they can not be processed through paper mills. Many coffee drinkers are not aware of this and put their cups into recycling bins.

If implemented, the "latte levy" will mean that when you buy a cup of your preferred hot beverage - it will cost 25p more if you get it in a takeaway cup.

"They are the ones who are expert in manufacturing".

"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". That is likely to not be the case'.

David Palmer-Jones, CEO of SUEZ recycling and recovery, remarked that while the tax may be helpful, it has to be part of a wider reform that "shifts the burden of responsibility for all forms of packaging content, recyclability and ultimately their collection, back to the producer". It has previously offered a reduction of 25p.


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