British MPs call for a 25p 'latte levy' on disposable cups

08 January, 2018, 04:00 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Starbucks

Britain could be set to introduce a blanket charge for use of disposal paper cups in what has been labeled a "latte levy".

By 2023 all coffee cups should be recycled, and if they aren't - they should be banned.

Chains Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero and Greggs alongside U.S. firm Starbucks are among the biggest coffee-sellers in Britain and have rapidly expanded in the last 10 years to meet increasing demand, Reuters reported.

Starbucks says that it has already tried to change consumer behaviour by discounting reusable cups at the point of sale.

CIWM would like to see renewed efforts by coffee retailers to promote reusable cups to their customers, adding that and a government-backed voluntary agreement might be a sensible first step.

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee called on the government to introduce the levy after studying a report showing 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away every year. The recycling process is complex, as it consists of separating a thin plastic layer from paper, and most recyclers don't have the ability to do this. Buy a reusable glass coffee cup here.

Nearly all of them are impossible to recycle due to their plastic lining.

The cross-industry collaboration aims included to work towards delivering a long-term, nationwide paper cup recycling solution which builds on the recycling activities achieved so far by the paper cup industry.

The vast majority end up in landfill or incineration, with 500,000 a day dropped as litter.

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The politicians have set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023.

A report by the Environmental Audit Committee released today says the tax should be used to improve the UK's recycling and reprocessing facilities.

The report said most of the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups thrown away every year are incinerated, exported or landfilled. (That number is also three in the United States, out of 450 paper mills.) A spokesman for one told the Guardian that it supports the levy if that money will go toward helping transport cups from retailers to recycling facilities, which he calls "the key link missing in the chain".

"With all the will in the world we can't make that change and we wish we could".

Nathan says that Pearlfisher now works with James Cropper, a paper supplier that is able to separate the polythene lining of paper cups from the paper.

Mary Creagh, whose committee demanded the charge on all drinks bought in cups, said everyone buying coffee from shops like Starbucks, Caffè Nero and Costa Coffee should pressure the firms into doing more.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the committee's recommendations would be carefully considered.

The UK generates 30,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste a year - enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall.

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