MPs call for 25p tax on disposable coffee cups

MPs call for 25p tax on disposable coffee cups

Starbucks has pledged it will roll out a three-month trial of a 5p charge on disposable cups in up to 25 London stores.

A 25 pence (34 cents) levy on disposable coffee cups should be introduced and all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023, according to the United Kingdom parliament's Environmental Audit Committee.

David Palmer-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of SUEZ recycling and recovery United Kingdom said: "Taxes on takeaway coffee cups may provide a helpful nudge to consumers to abandon a throw-away culture, but for lasting change, proposals like these need to be part of wider, joined-up reform that shifts the burden of responsibility for all forms of packaging content, recyclability and ultimately their collection, back to the producer".

Ministers are already looking at the plans amid a shake-up of waste management in the United Kingdom after the Chancellor hinted at a review of non-recyclable packaging in his Budget past year.

PCCRG is a voluntary body focused on increasing the recovery and recycling of paper cups.

"We're calling for action to reduce the number of single use cups, promote reusable cups over disposable cups and to recycle all coffee cups by 2023".

"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.

Thanks to the UK's ever-growing coffee shop culture, and the general trend for using disposable cups given at the counter rather than reusable ones brought in from home, the country is throwing away a huge 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups each year, according to a study by Cardiff University.




By 2023 all coffee cups should be recycled, and if they aren't - they should be banned. The three-month trial will begin in February. If an effective recycling system is not established and achieves high levels of recycling by this date, the Government should ban disposable coffee cups.

The figure is much less than the 25p suggested by MPs as the sort of levy that would drive people to stop using the cups.

This was welcomed by the committee, which heard evidence during the inquiry that consumer confusion around coffee cups is contributing to poor recycling rates. Pret A Manger's customers have benefitted from a 50 pence discount from this week.

Coffee chains have been "pulling the wool over the eyes" of customers by letting them believe paper cups can be recycled, MPs warned.

"The whole point is to change behaviour and I'm glad the select committee has endorsed this Liberal Democrat campaign", he said.

Numbers of the throwaway cups have hugely increased in recent years. But, the problem is: the plastic lining "can't be removed by most recycling facilities".

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.

Ms McMorrin said the Welsh Government had "led the way in the UK" by introducing a charge for carrier bags and "we've seen single-use carrier bag usage drop by 71%".

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