British Lawmakers Call for "latte Levy" on Disposable Coffee Cups

LONDON, Jan 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Britons sipping on hot tea or strong coffee should pay an extra 25 pence ($0.34) "latte levy" if they use a disposable cup, common in coffee shops and fast food eateries, British lawmakers said on Friday.

The government should also ensure that all disposable cups are recycled by 2023 or introduce a total ban if that target is not met, an Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) report found.

Mary Creagh, chairwoman of the parliamentary group, said it was time for a "revolution" in recycling.

"The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year, enough to circle the planet five and a half times," she said in a statement. "Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered."

The 25 pence charge would go towards improving Britain's recycling and reprocessing facilities, the report said.

Some coffee shops in Britain already provide discounts to customers who bring their own cups.

The sandwich chain Pret A Manger said last month that it will increase its discount for bringing a reusable cup from 25 pence to 50 pence from January 2018.

Green Party lawmaker and EAC committee member Caroline Lucas told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the reforms were "long overdue" and hoped that they would change behaviour.

"This is now a 10 billion pound industry, and the businesses involved need to show leadership and work quickly towards 100 percent recyclability, or face an outright ban - the time for talking is over," she said in emailed comments.

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.

The EAC said it had learnt from this example that consumers were often more responsive to charges than discounts.

"The UK has woken up and smelled the coffee cup nightmare," celebrity chef and environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, said in a statement welcoming the report.

"Now there's no way this horrendous and avoidable problem can be put back to sleep."

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Call for 'latte Levy' to Cut Cup Waste Is Backed by MPs ...
Calls to make people pay more to use disposable coffee cups - a plan already being considered in Wales - have been taken up by a committee of MPs. They want UK ministers to impose a 25p "latte levy" per cup, on top of the coffee price, to fund better recycling and reprocessing systems.The UK throws away 2.5bn coffee cups each year, the committee was told.Welsh ministers are considering asking for powers to tax the cups and other plastics that are difficult to recycle.Disposable coffee cups can be tricky to recycle because most are made with a combination of paper and plastic.The report, by the Commons' Environmental Audit Committee, calls for better labelling for consumers, and for UK ministers to introduce measures to make sure all coffee cups are recycled within five years. Committee member Anna McMorrin, Labour MP for Cardiff North, said: "We all use them, but as the committee discovered hardly any are recycled and most are littered, resulting in 2.5bn a year being thrown away."That's enough to circle the planet five and a half times."Ms McMorrin said the Welsh Government had "led the way in the UK" by introducing a charge for carrier bags and "we've seen single-use carrier bag usage drop by 71%"."That's why the committee believes that introducing a 25p charge on disposable coffee cups could have the same impact on consumer behaviour, and encourage people to carry their own reusable coffee cup."She added: "With the coffee shop market expanding rapidly, and more coffee cups being produced, we now have the opportunity to kick start a revolution in recycling. "We need coffee cup producers, distributors and governments to take urgent action to rectify this - and if they can't achieve this by 2023, then they should be banned."But Mike Turner, of the Paper Cup Alliance, said they were the most sustainable and safe solution for drinks on-the-go. "The paper cups we manufacture in the UK are sustainably sourced, responsibly produced, recyclable and, through a number of facilities, are being recycled. We are committed to increasing recycling rates," he said."Taxing the morning coffee run will not address the issue of litter, but it will hurt consumers and impact already struggling high streets."Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has said he will take proposals to UK ministers, based on one of four possible options for a new Welsh tax, later this year.The three alternatives to a disposable plastic tax are a tax on vacant land, one to fund social care and a tourism tax.The proposals would require approval from assembly members, the UK government and Parliament before they could be implemented.Plaid Cymru climate change spokesman Simon Thomas said: "I'm confident the best option is to have a polluter pays principle when it comes to taxation and introduce a plastic levy. This could easily include coffee cups."
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Call for 'latte Levy' of 25p to Cut Disposable Coffee Cup Waste
A 25p latte levy should be introduced on disposable coffee cups to cut waste, MPs have said. The plan is being considered by ministers amid calls for a complete ban on all disposable cups by 2023 unless manufacturers can make them recyclable.It follows research which shows the UK throws away 2.5 billion paper cups every year, with many consumers believing they are being recycled when less than 1 per cent actually are.The rest are incinerated or buried in landfill sites because they have an inner-lining made of plastic which paper mills struggle to remove.The Environmental Audit Committee is calling on the Government to introduce a minimum 25p charge to cut waste in the same way the plastic bag levy has done in supermarkets.The money raised should be spent on improving "binfrastructure", MPs said, including better recycling points around the country, including in workplaces.MPs also called for a target to be set by the Government to ban all non-recyclable coffee cups by 2023 and increase charges for companies which do not invest in materials which can be reused, as in other countries.Ministers are already looking at the plans amid a shake-up of waste management in the UK after the Chancellor hinted at a review of non-recyclable packaging in his Budget last year.The Government is "open to the idea", sources said, but wants to ensure that any levy would trigger a change in behaviour and not simply put up prices.Ministers are looking at how money raised by any scheme could be passed on to local councils to ensure better recycling facilities and a panel will report in the first part of this year.Some shops already give money off the price of a hot drink for customers who use reusable cups, such as Pret A Manger, which has just doubled its discount to 50p.But the committee said uptake of these offers was low at only 1 per cent to 2 per cent of coffee purchases, and consumers were more responsive to a charge than a discount based on the success of the 5p single-use plastic bag levy.A Defra spokesperson said: "As this report recognises, we are already taking action towards our goal of a 'zero waste economy' and working closely with industry and organisations such as WRAP, we have made great progress in boosting recycling rates and making more products recyclable."We are encouraged by industry action to increase the recycling of paper cups with some major retail chains now offering discounts to customers with reusable cups. "We will carefully consider the Committee's recommendations and respond shortly."The committee said cups from cafes that do not have in-store recycling systems should be printed with "not widely recycled" labels to boost consumer awareness, while cafes that do have recycling systems should label their cups as "recyclable in store only".Committee chairwoman Mary Creagh 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."She added: "Coffee shops have been pulling the wool over customers' eyes, telling us their cups can be recycled when less than 1% are."Taxpayers are footing the bill for disposing of the billions of coffee cups thrown away each year, whether or not they are coffee drinkers."It is only right that producers should bear more of the financial burden to help recycle their packaging, so my committee is calling for producer responsibility reform that rewards businesses that use sustainable packaging and makes those that don't face higher charges."Laura Foster, head of clean seas at the Marine Conservation Society, said: "Just like the plastic bag charge we are all now familiar with, a charge added to our coffee at the point of purchase will help consumers think about whether to take a refill cup to the cafe."We totally agree with the committee that if 100% recycling of coffee cups isn't reached by 2023, then there should be an outright ban on providing them."Only by treating this issue as one that is the responsibility of both industry and consumers will re-use become the norm in place of single-use and throw away." Telegraph Media Group Limited 2019Need help?Visit our adblocking instructionspage.
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British Lawmakers Call for Latte Levy on Disposable Coffee ...
LONDON, Jan 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Britons sipping on hot tea or strong coffee should pay an extra 25 pence ($0.34) "latte levy" if they use a disposable cup, common in coffee shops and fast food eateries, British lawmakers said on Friday. The government should also ensure that all disposable cups are recycled by 2023 or introduce a total ban if that target is not met, an Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) report found. Mary Creagh, chairwoman of the parliamentary group, said it was time for a "revolution" in recycling. "The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year, enough to circle the planet five and a half times," she said in a statement. "Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered." The 25 pence charge would go towards improving Britain's recycling and reprocessing facilities, the report said. Some coffee shops in Britain already provide discounts to customers who bring their own cups. The sandwich chain Pret A Manger said last month that it will increase its discount for bringing a reusable cup from 25 pence to 50 pence from January 2018. Green Party lawmaker and EAC committee member Caroline Lucas told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the reforms were "long overdue" and hoped that they would change behaviour. "This is now a 10 billion pound industry, and the businesses involved need to show leadership and work quickly towards 100 percent recyclability, or face an outright ban - the time for talking is over," she said in emailed comments. 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. The EAC said it had learnt from this example that consumers were often more responsive to charges than discounts. "The UK has woken up and smelled the coffee cup nightmare," celebrity chef and environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, said in a statement welcoming the report. "Now there's no way this horrendous and avoidable problem can be put back to sleep."
2021 07 23
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Uk Needs 'latte Levy' on Disposable Coffee Cups to Cut Waste: Lawmakers
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain should charge a 25-pence ($0.34) "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups to cut down waste and ban them if a recycling target is not met by 2023, a committee of lawmakers said on Friday. Less than 1 percent of coffee cups are recycled in Britain because of the tightly bonded plastic liner, the difficulties of recycling packaging which has been in contact with food and drink and a lack of facilities, the lawmakers said. Chains Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero and Greggs alongside U.S. firm Starbucks are among the biggest coffee-sellers in Britain and have rapidly expanded in the last 10 years to meet increasing demand. Although some outlets give a discount to customers using their own cup, only 1-2 percent of buyers take up the offer, according to parliament's environmental audit committee which said a "latte levy" was needed instead. "The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet five and a half times," said Chair of the committee, Mary Creagh. "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," she said. The committee said that money raised by the charge should help improve recycling facilities and if the 2023 target is not met then disposable coffee cups should be banned. The Irish parliament is considering banning single-use coffee cups whilst the German city Hamburg said in 2016 it will no longer use coffee-makers with aluminum capsules in its own offices or buildings. In October 2015, Britain introduced a charge of 5 pence on all single-use plastic bags provided by large shops, which led to an 83 percent reduction in UK plastic bags used in the first year. On Friday the environment ministry said the government was working closely with the sector and had made progress in increasing recycling rates. "We are encouraged by industry action to increase the recycling of paper cups with some major retail chains now offering discounts to customers with reusable cups," said a ministry spokeswoman. "We will carefully consider the committee's recommendations and respond shortly," she said. Caffe Nero said it was working with others to understand and address the issues which prevent the widespread recycling of paper cups. Costa Coffee and Greggs said they offered a discount to those using reusable cups but Costa said the government also needed to focus on improving recycling infrastructure. Pret A Manger's customers have benefited from a 50 pence discount from this week. U.S chain Starbucks will trial a 5 pence levy at up to 25 London branches in February for three months. "We will investigate the impact of a 5p charge on a paper cup, coupled with prominent marketing of reusable cups, on customer behavior," it said in a statement posted on its website.
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Sorry, Millennials: a Latte Tax Might Be Coming to Make Takeaway Coffee Cups More Expensive
They may take our lattes, but they will never take our freedom.UK politicians want the government to introduce a 25p (33 cents) "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups in an effort to eliminate waste. MPs say if cup recycling doesn't improve drastically by 2023, they'll be banned completely.SEE ALSO: I'm a millennial and, believe me, coffee is not the reason I'm brokeThe latte levy was proposed in a new report authored by the Environmental Audit Committee, which revealed that many coffee consumers "mistakenly think that disposable cups are widely recycled."The report says disposable coffee cups are "made from paper and lined with plastic" which renders them waterproof. But, the problem is: the plastic lining "can't be removed by most recycling facilities."The Government should introduce a 25p latte levy to tackle disposable coffee cup waste. View our interactive report summary here: pic.twitter.com/SjmcQztuLm- Environmental Audit Committee (@CommonsEAC) January 5, 2018Even when consumers place coffee cups in recycling bins, there's currently no way for recycling plants to recycle them."The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet five and a half times," said Mary Creagh MP, chair of the committee, in a statement."Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered," added Creagh. "Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and Government has sat on its hands."Per the report, the latte levy on takeaway coffee cups "would remove some of the financial burden from local authorities and council taxpayers."Mary Creagh MP, chair of the committee, says the UK's coffee shop industry is "expanding rapidly," so it's necessary to take action now to kickstart a "revolution" in cup recycling.The report sheds light on the UK's growing love affair with coffee, and the resultant impact on coffee cup use. According to the report, "almost half of all coffees and hot drinks" are sold in disposable cups. And, the number of coffee shops has increased four-fold since 2000. Many coffee lovers are not in favour of the 25p tax, and instead feel that packaging changes would be more conducive.Rather than a #lattelevy why not insist on biodegradable or reusable cups by a certain date and make it pay for companies to follow the rules. pic.twitter.com/WqW8XKYkrk- David Huff (@david_a_huff) January 5, 2018The government should be pressurising coffee companies to invest into recyclable cup alternatives, not this 25p #lattelevy- Madeline Keep (@Madeline_Keep) January 5, 2018I'm not sure that a 25p 'Latte levy' urged by UK MPs in bid to cut #coffeecup waste is either right solution or will click with consumers - why not address root issue and get rid of cups altogether? #BanDisposables - Dr. Jorge Gutic (@TouristGazer) January 5, 2018Time to crack out your reusable cups?WATCH: This mug is for the clumsy coffee lover
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