The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) suggested revenue from the so-called “Latte levy” should be used to boost Britain’s recycling and reprocessing facilities.
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.
It’s been dubbed the “latte levy” – a tax on the billions of takeaway coffee cups that Britons are throwing away every year. As a result just six million – 0.25% – are recycled.
“The UK’s coffee shop market is expanding rapidly, so we need to kick-start a revolution in recycling”, Committee Chairwoman Mary Creagh said in a statement.
A cross-party committee called for urgent action to curb the mountain of up to five billion disposable coffee cups dumped each year, nearly none of which are recycled.
Andrew Carnell, owner of Coffee Aroma.
The politicians have set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023.
The growing problem saw members of Ms Creagh’s committee also say that if all cups are not recycled within five years an outright ban should be placed on them.
Sandwich chain Pret a Manger has announced that it is doubling the discount for customers who bring in reusable cups to 50p.
“Already, we give a discount if you come in with a keep-cup, which is a reusable cup you keep yourself”.
The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the production and shipment of 2.5 billion cups – the number discarded in the United Kingdom every year – is equivalent to that produced by burning around 120 million litres of petrol. The trial will begin next month and initially last for three months.
“If more people used reusable coffee cups there would be less waste, which would reduce the burden on local authorities”.
From next week, Greggs Bakery will offer 20p off hot drinks for customers who bring their own cups.
“Finally, we will continue to remind customers through our in-store marketing about the ongoing 25p cup discount and the benefits of going reusable”.
“Once coffee cups are separately collected they have a value and can be made into new products”.
“The evidence is clear that these levies work – the 5p charge on plastic bags has massively reduced usage and helped protect our environment”.
The lawmakers say a stick is more effective than a carrot in changing consumer behavior.
The multi-layer material prevents the cup being recycled in exclusively paper or plastics recycling streams. “It is recognised that there must be investment to improve the nation’s limited “on the go” recycling collection infrastructure and to support the technology and capacity investments that are needed to ensure that materials collected are efficiently recycled with quality at the heart of the process”.