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lakeelmoleader.com January 20, 2018


Government urged to introduce 25p "latte levy" on coffee cups from MPs

05 January 2018, 01:42 | Kara Nash

Government urged to introduce 25p "latte levy" on coffee cups from MPs

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

LONDON, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Britain should charge a 25-pence ($0.34) "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups to cut down waste and ban them if a recycling target is not met by 2023, a committee of lawmakers said on Friday.

In October past year, organisations from across the paper cup supply chain signed an agreement with the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) to accelerate UK recycling of PE lined paper cups (see letsrecycle.com story).

Most paper recycling facilities reject cups because it is hard to separate the plastic inner lining from the paper, meaning only 1% of those thrown away each year are recycled.

"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. Nearly none are recycled and half a million a day are littered. According to the report, "almost half of all coffees and hot drinks" are sold in disposable cups.

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

It added that if disposable coffee cups aren't all fully recyclable by 2023, they should be banned. The three-month trial will begin in February.

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

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But they added: "We are encouraged by industry action to increase the recycling of paper cups, with some major retail chains now offering discounts to customers with reusable cups". "Anything that would help facilitate the recycling of these cups is a good thing", he said. "Legislation needs to set a date after which the continued production of unrecyclable coffee cups is banned by law".

"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".

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. "The government must do the same and introduce the levy as soon as possible".

In addition, the committee also has suggested that the government should set up a producer responsibility compliance fee structure that rewards packaging design which facilitates recycling and puts a fine on packaging, which is hard to recycle.

What's wrong with regular coffee shop users taking their own cup if it avoids the charge?

"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.

A spokesman for Starbucks said of 5p charge trial: "We recognise there is growing concern about the number of single-use paper cups being used".



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