United Kingdom lawmakers call for 'latte levy' on takeaway cups

United Kingdom lawmakers call for 'latte levy' on takeaway cups

United Kingdom lawmakers call for 'latte levy' on takeaway cups

A 25 pence (34 cents) levy on disposable coffee cups should be introduced and all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023, according to the United Kingdom parliament's Environmental Audit Committee.

Veolia Environmental Services responded to the report saying that it is already leading a solution to collect, recycle and re-use Britain's coffee cups, which has seen 10 million of them recycled in the last eight months.

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

A PROPOSED "latte levy" won't be everyone's cup of tea now that there's a coffee shop on so many streets.

Costa Coffee said it offered a 25 pence discount to those using reusable cups but the government needed to focus on improving recycling infrastructure.

Waste cups are "an unsightly and damaging blight on the environment", said the Environmental Audit Committee in a new report published Friday.

"Its estimate of the funds created by a 25p charge are entirely disproportionate and it would seem the committee has failed to appreciate the point of an on-the-go waste management strategy is to achieve higher collection, less littering and more recycling for all on-the-go packaging from cans to cups, so simplifying waste disposal on the go". It's also been suggested that the cups be phased out, with a full ban by 2023.

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".

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However, the difficulties surrounding the recycling of coffee cups are manifold: not only are recycling capabilities limited but the majority of cups go straight into the general waste.

Although some coffee shops provide discounts for customers who bring their own cup, uptake of these offers is low at only 1-2% of coffee purchases.

Cropper takes cups collected by coffee retailers instore recycling bins, removes the plastic and turns them into luxury paper and packaging products.

However, due to their plastic lining, customers who put them in the recyclable waste effectively contaminate it.

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. "Those without in-store recycling should print their cups with a not widely recyclable label".

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said it welcomed Friday's recommendations from the Environmental Audit Committee. Within a year, England's use of plastic bags had declined by 85 per cent. "Only by treating this issue as one that is the responsibility of both industry and consumers will reuse become the norm in place of single-use and throw away". Companies across the industry have been working to address this barrier and increase cup recycling.

Numerous cups are printed with the three-arrow triangular "Mobius loop" symbol that eight out of ten people think means they can be put in the recycling.

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