MPs call for ‘latte levy’ on disposable coffee cups

McDonald’s & Starbucks to develop recyclable cup
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Africa Studio

Britain is mulling a potential “latte levy” after the Environmental Audit Committee proposed a 25p tax on disposable coffee cups.

The Committee also called on Government to ensure all coffee cups are recycled by 2023.

Environmental Audit Committee Chair, Mary Creagh MP said: “The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet five and a half times. Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered.

“Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and Government has sat on its hands.

“The UK’s coffee shop market is expanding rapidly, so we need to kick start a revolution in recycling.

“We’re calling for action to reduce the number of single use cups, promote reusable cups over disposable cups and to recycle all coffee cups by 2023.”

If approved, the 25p levy will be introduced on all disposable coffee cups sold in cafés, restaurants and coffee shops.

The Committee added that the money raised will be used to improve the UK’s recycling ‘binfrastructure’ and reprocessing facilities.

It added that if disposable coffee cups aren’t all fully recyclable by 2023, they should be banned.

This, the Committee said, will be achieved by a two-pronged approach – by making produces pay more for difficult-to-recycle packaging, and by improving labelling.