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Britain to Impose Tax on Disposable Cups

08 January 2018

The levy idea isn't welcomed by everyone and is being opposed by paper cup makers, especially as MPs are also suggesting that non-recyable disposable cups be outlawed by 2023.

In 2015, Britain introduced a 5 pence charge for plastic carrier bags, legislation that slashed usage and has taken about 9 billion plastic bags out of circulation, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

"They've worked with Selfridges to upcycle disposable coffee cups generated at its Oxford Street headquarters and store, with the resulting paper being used to create its iconic yellow shopping bags in a completely unique closed-loop recycling solution", she says.

The announcement comes after MPs called for a 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups.

Takeaway beverage chains including Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee, McDonald's, Pret A Manger and Starbucks have signed up to a scheme to collect and recycle more of the current types of cup.

Starbucks says that it has already tried to change consumer behaviour by discounting reusable cups at the point of sale.

A charge of 5p on throwaway coffee cups is to be introduced in more than 20 Starbucks outlets to encourage a switch to reusable alternatives.

"We think the "latte levy" will be the sort of charge that will really make people think, "Hang on a minute, I need to bring my cup to work today", in the same way that they're now moving more and more to reusable plastic bottles".

At least 2.5 billion disposable cups are thrown away every year.

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"Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered. 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".

"The revenue should be used to invest in reprocessing facilities and 'binfrastructure" to ensure that the remaining disposable cups are recycled'.

The multi-layer material prevents the cup being recycled in exclusively paper or plastics recycling streams.

"A reusable cup is one of the easiest ways to reduce cup waste but the discounts offered by coffee companies are ineffective".

Creagh said coffee shops have been "pulling the wool" over customers' eyes by saying their cups are recyclable.

Make companies pay for producing mixed material packaging which is hard to recycle (coffee cups are a paper shell with a plastic lining bonded to the paper). Spokesman Mike Turner said: 'The paper cups we manufacture in the United Kingdom are sustainably sourced, responsibly produced, recyclable and. are being recycled.

"With all the will in the world we can't make that change and we wish we could".

There is no United Kingdom or European market for contaminated paper food packaging, says the Environmental Audit Committee.

Britain to Impose Tax on Disposable Cups