MPs call for 25p tax on disposable coffee cups

MPs call for 25p tax on disposable coffee cups

A report on disposable coffee cups by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said 2.5 billion were used in the United Kingdom every year, with only 0.25% being recycled, and producing 30,000 tonnes of waste annually.

It added that if disposable coffee cups aren't all fully recyclable by 2023, they should be banned.

EAC Chair Mary Creagh commented: "Taxpayers are footing the bill for disposing of the billions of coffee cups thrown away each year, whether or not they are coffee drinkers".

The programme included a move this month to make all ACE UK bring banks accept paper cups for recycling, delivering an additional 415 recycling points located in 105 local authorities across the UK.

The Environmental Audit Committee is calling on the Government to introduce a minimum 25p charge to cut waste in the same way the plastic bag levy has done in supermarkets.

And, the committee also stated that the tax should go towards improving recycling and reprocessing facilities.

SUEZ recycling and recovery United Kingdom serves around 12 million people and handles around 10 million tonnes of waste each year.

'Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and government has sat on its hands. "Legislation needs to set a date after which the continued production of unrecyclable coffee cups is banned by law".

This week, Pret doubled the discount offered to customers who bring in a reusable coffee cup from 25p to 50p.

In response, Starbucks said it would try out a 5p cup charge in 20 to 25 central London outlets.

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'We need to kick-start a revolution in recycling.

"If the proposed levy were to be introduced, we believe it should be used to fund the collection of cups, since once they are separately collected they have a value and can be made into new products".

"Coffee shops have been pulling the wool over customers" eyes, telling us their cups can be recycled when less than one per cent are'.

'Taxing the morning coffee run will not address the issue of litter but it will hurt consumers and impact already struggling high streets'.

However, due to their plastic lining, customers who put them in the recyclable waste effectively contaminate it. Any stores that have in-house recycling options should also label their cups to reflect that. We are committed to increasing recycling rates.

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.

The government plans to produce a new plastics policy later in the year.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said it welcomed Friday's recommendations from the Environmental Audit Committee.

"We think a latte levy will be the kind of charge that will make people think "I need to bring my cup to work today", in the same way that they are moving more and more to reusable plastic bottles".

Mr Stemman said the industry should continue to focus on other environmental issues such as cutting water use, carbon reduction, and turning waste coffee grounds into biofuel.

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