25p 'latte levy' would boost recycling rates - MPs


Following an 83 percent reduction in use of plastic carrier bags in 2015, resulting from the 5p charge, charity Friends of the Earth is urging Environment Secretary Michael Gove to ban disposable cups that can not be recycled and force cafe chains to provide recycling bins.

"We found that this did not move the needle in the way we thought it might". "Their silence speaks volumes", MPs said.

A committee of MPs at Westminster has called for a 34 US cents latte levy on disposable coffee cups.

"The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year - that's enough to circle the planet five and a half times", said committee's chair, Mary Creagh MP. Half a million coffee cups are littered each day in the United Kingdom, the report said. The committee said that if the recycling target is not met then disposable coffee cups should be banned.

Some 30,000 tonnes of waste is produced from coffee cups in the United Kingdom every year.

Andrew Carnell, owner of Coffee Aroma.

The lawmakers want the government to set a target that all single use coffee cups should be recycled by 2023.

As well as charging the compulsory 25 pence (40 cents) "latte levy", the team also said disposable cups from cafes that do not recycle the items in store should be labelled as with "not widely recycled" to improve consumer awareness.

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The most common tactic for cutting waste has been to offer customers discounts for bringing in their own reusable cups.

Starbucks now offers customers a 25p discount on drink orders if they bring their own reusable cup.

Starbucks also began trialling a fully-recyclable coffee cup, invented by the entrepreneur and engineer Martin Myerscough, in some of its United Kingdom branches in June a year ago. Coffee shops have been pulling the wool over customers' eyes, telling us their cups can be recycled, when less than one per cent are. The three-month trial will begin in February.

No one likes to pay more, but charges work - most people carry a reusable shopping bag since the introduction of the plastic bag charge, and the idea is that a "latte levy" will encourage reusable alternatives, or "drinking in" with a china cup. But just 1 to 2% of customers do this.

Suez's Palmer-Jones agreed, commenting that a charge "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".

"We recognise that there is growing concern about the number of single-use paper cups being used and that our customers are interested in ways that we can help them reduce, reuse and recycle".

"If they were recycling it themselves, they'd bring reusable cups with them". "The plastic bag charge is proof that charges are highly effective at reducing packaging waste", said Creagh.

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