‘Latte levy’ urged to cut cup waste

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Media caption Several fear the cost of the levy is going to be passed on to the consumer

MPs are calling for a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee mugs – and a total ban except if recycling improves.

A report by the Environmental Audit Panel says the taxes should be used to improve the UK’s recycling where possible and reprocessing facilities.

The MPs say throwaway mugs should be prohibited altogether by 2023 if they are not all being recycled.

In response, Starbucks said it could try out a 5p cup cost in 20 to 25 main London outlets.

“We will begin the trial in Feb and initially it will last for 3 months, ” the firm mentioned, adding that it continued to offer a 25p discount to customers who delivered their own reusable cups.

The government agrees plastic waste materials is a problem and will seek proof on a tax on single-use plastic materials.

‘Revolution’ needed

The committee’s chair, Mary Creagh MP, stated: “The UK throws away second . 5 billion disposable coffee mugs every year – that’s enough in order to circle the planet five and a half periods.

“Almost not one are recycled and half several a day are littered. Coffee glass producers and distributors have not used action to rectify this plus government has sat on the hands.

“The United kingdoms’s coffee shop market is expanding quickly, so we need to kick start a trend in recycling. ”

The Liberal Democrats said they had been campaigning for any charge on coffee cups given that September 2016 and were the only real party to include the policy in their 2017 election manifesto.

The particular party’s environment spokesman, Tim Farron, said: “I’m glad our require a coffee cup charge is attaining traction.

“The evidence is clear that these levies function – the 5p charge upon plastic bags has massively decreased usage and helped protect the environment. ”

The proposed 25p garnishment is being opposed by the makers associated with paper cups.

Mike Turner, of the Paper Glass Alliance, said paper cups had been the most sustainable and safe solution meant for drinks on the go.

“The paper cups we produce in the UK are sustainably sourced, reliably produced, recyclable and, through a variety of facilities, are being recycled. We are devoted to increasing recycling rates, ” this individual said.

“Taxing the particular morning coffee run will not deal with the issue of litter, but it will harm consumers and impact already battling High Streets. ”

The MPs point out that while a few coffee shops offer discounts can be who bring their own cup, just one to 2% of coffee consumers respond.

Following the achievement of the plastic bag charge, they have got concluded that consumers respond more in order to sticks than to carrots.

The plastic lining in coffee mugs makes them costly to recycle, and the MPs say the businesses supplying and creating them do not bear the full expenses of their disposal.

Disposable coffee mugs are technically recyclable, but most are certainly not because the UK has just three amenities that can split the paper plus plastic components for recycling.

The committee has known as on the government to require espresso cups from cafes without in-store recycling systems to carry “not broadly recycled” labels to increase consumer recognition. Cafes with in-store recycling techniques should print their cups along with “recyclable in store only”, the MPs add.

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Picture caption Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall back the ‘latte levy’

The committee’s suggestions were welcomed by environmental campaigners.

Fiona Nicholls from Greenpeace UK, said the issue was getting bigger: “We should never allow the packaging industry to drinking water down these recommendations any further. inch

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, cook and campaigner, said: “The UNITED KINGDOM has woken up and smelled the coffee cup nightmare.

“The committee offers recognised that the huge mountain associated with disposable coffee cups is efficiently unrecyclable, and is overwhelming and disrupting the nation’s waste disposal systems, eventually polluting our rivers and oceans, and needs urgent action. inch

The British Espresso Association’s Chris Stemman also made welcome the report’s broad principles, yet said a levy was not the solution.

“It places a good unfair and additional cost on espresso drinking consumers only – regardless of paper cups only contributing zero. 7% of total paper product packaging waste, ” he told BBC News.

“We urge the government to ensure that if any kind of potential tax is considered, that it is ring-fenced and used specifically to invest in brand new ‘binfrastructure’ and to improve recycling procedures with local authorities that make it easier to individual and stream paper cups as well as other waste products. ”

Mister Stemman said the industry should keep focus on other environmental issues like cutting water use, carbon decrease, and turning waste coffee coffee grounds into biofuel.

The federal government plans to produce a new plastics plan later in the year.

Follow Roger on Twitter: @rharrabin