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British parliamentary committee recommends levy on take-away coffee cups

British parliamentary committee recommends levy on take-away coffee cups”

MPs are calling for a 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups - and a total ban unless recycling improves. The UK produces 30,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste each year, according to a report published by MPs on the environmental audit committee on Friday.

Britain should introduce a charge of 25 pence for disposable coffee cups to encourage recycling and reduce waste from retailers including Starbucks and Costa, a panel of lawmakers said.

Committee chairwoman Mary Creagh said: 'Almost none are recycled and half-a-million a day are littered.

However, the EA committee said although some cup manufacturers and coffee shops had made voluntary commitments to recycle coffee cups, they are "inconsistent, and lack quantifiable targets and structure".

A lot of coffee shops offer discounts if people bring their own cup, but MPs claim that only 1-2 per cent of people actually take advantage of that.

United Kingdom politicians want the government to introduce a 25p (33 cents) "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups in an effort to eliminate waste.

"We think a latte levy will be the kind of charge that will make people think "I need to bring my cup to work today", in the same way that they are moving more and more to reusable plastic bottles". MCS's Beachwatch litter-surveying campaign has seen a reported 93 per cent increase in coffee cups found on United Kingdom beaches over the past five years.

"The government should set a target for all disposable coffee cups to be recycled by 2023".

The last decade has brought about an explosion in the United Kingdom café culture, as the traditional English cup of tea has succumbed to its roasted rival, with the milky latte taking top spot as the nation's most popular takeaway hot drink, served in paper cups laminated with a plastic sheeting, which waterproof the containers and stop hot drinks leaking onto customer's hands.

Just five retailers have taken up Cropper's cup recycling initiative and the firm has recycled just 10m cups following a target of 500 million a year.

"We will investigate the impact of a 5p charge on a paper cup, coupled with prominent marketing of reusable cups, on customer behaviour", it said in a statement posted on its website.

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

The extra cash would be used to invest in reprocessing facilities and "binfrastructure" to ensure disposable cups and other food and drink packaging is recycled.

Estelle Brachlianoff, senior executive vice-president at Veolia UK & Ireland disagreed with the idea of how the levy should be spent, commenting that the funds raised should be used to fund the collection of cups instead.

"Only by treating this issue as one that is the responsibility of both industry and consumers will re-use become the norm".

The committee has called on the government to require coffee cups from cafes without in-store recycling systems to carry "not widely recycled" labels to increase consumer awareness.

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.



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