Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Latte Levy: What are businesses doing?

Latte Levy: What are businesses doing?

Now the Environmental Audit Committee's plan to bring in a tax on disposable coffee cups is in the proposal stage.

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

The committee said that 2.5 billion disposable cups are thrown away in the United Kingdom each year.

The vast majority end up in landfill or incineration, with 500,000 a day dropped as litter.

Chef and environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall said: "The committee has recognised that the huge mountain of disposable coffee cups is effectively unrecyclable, and is overwhelming and disrupting the nation's waste disposal systems, ultimately polluting our rivers and seas, and needs urgent action".

Disposable cups contain a plastic lining that makes them hard and expensive to recycle.

A report published by the cross-party group says there is "no excuse for the reluctance we have seen from government and industry to address coffee cup waste". Costa is also collecting cups from rival brands in its shops.

A 5p charge on coffee cups was first proposed by the Liberal Democrats after it emerged past year that only one in 400 was being recycled.

From next week, Greggs Bakery will offer 20p off hot drinks for customers who bring their own cups.

Starbucks has also today announced a trial in London to introduce a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups.

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Last year researchers at Cardiff University concluded that charging 25p for every coffee cup would help cut the number used by up to 300 million a year.

"Finally, we will continue to remind customers through our in-store marketing about the ongoing 25p cup discount and the benefits of going reusable".

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said the 5p plastic bag charge is proof that "these levies work".

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.

Nathan says that Pearlfisher now works with James Cropper, a paper supplier that is able to separate the polythene lining of paper cups from the paper.

"We believe that more testing is required to assess the impact a charge may have on changing behaviour", Hubbub's chief executive Trewin Restorick said.

Hardly any of the more than 2 billion cups that get thrown away each year are recyclable, the committee found.

The Government has shown itself to be receptive to calls to tackle problem packaging, setting the tone with a charge for plastic bags, and promising further legislation to protect the environment and animal rights.

However, MPs said that while the efforts were "well meaning", they were also "inconsistent and need targets" to be imposed by the government, highlighting the fact only two of the major coffee chains agreed to give evidence was troubling.

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