MPs Want a 'Latter Levy' to Cut Down on Disposable Cup Waste

Expand                      Recycling coffee cup- a rare sight in British towns

The lawmakers have also recommended the government to charge more from producers for their packaging which are hard to recycle as well as improve labeling in order to educate consumers on how to dispose of their cup in best possible way. "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", she added.

Although some outlets give a discount to customers using their own cup, only 1-2 per cent of buyers take up the offer, according to parliament's environmental audit committee which said a "latte levy" was needed instead. This is strong stuff, but in the meantime - with 2.5 billion coffee cups being dished out yearly - we need to make sure this happens sooner rather than later. "We agree with the committee that if complete recycling of coffee cups isn't reached by 2023, then there should be an outright ban on providing them - and that date should be set in stone".

"There is no excuse for the ongoing reluctance from government and industry to address coffee cup waste".

Further funding to improve the UK's recycling infrastructure, the report continues, should come partly from increased producer compliance fees, something which was also recommended in the previous report from this inquiry, which focused on plastic bottles. A spokesman said the money raised would be donated to a charity to run a study on how to change the public's behaviour and encourage the use of reusable cups. "Anything that would help facilitate the recycling of these cups is a good thing", he said. "If a sustainable recycling system for disposable coffee cups can not be set up by this date, they should be banned".

"It places an unfair and additional cost on coffee drinking consumers only - despite paper cups only contributing 0.7% of total paper packaging waste", he told BBC News. The plastic lining in cups makes them very expensive to recycle, and the businesses who are responsible for handing them to customers pay just 10% of the bill for dealing with the waste packaging!

The inquiry heard from local authorities that United Kingdom producers now contribute only 10 per cent of the cost of packaging disposal and recycling, much less than in many other European countries.

The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "We are already taking action towards our goal of a 'zero waste economy".

Disposable coffee cups are technically recyclable, but most are not because the United Kingdom has just three facilities that can split the paper and plastic components for recycling.

"By generating greater volumes of cups for recycling this will create a market for the material, making cups more attractive to waste management companies and creating the potential for more schemes to be introduced to collect cups from a much wider range of locations such as offices and high street locations".

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