Starbucks to trial paper cup charge in central London stores

08 January, 2018, 03:59 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • Coffee cup recycling

The programme included a move this month to make all ACE UK bring banks accept paper cups for recycling, delivering an additional 415 recycling points located in 105 local authorities across the UK.

"The U.K. throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet 5½ times", said chair of the committee, Mary Creagh. According to the report, just 0.25 per cent of cups are recycled, and 500,000 are littered every day. The committee said that if the recycling target is not met then disposable coffee cups should be banned. This adds to the financial burden on taxpayers, who already cover 90% of the cost of collecting, sorting and disposing of waste coffee cups. Coffee cups are hard to recycle, but not impossible. "Almost none" of them are recycled, the committee notes, and neither the coffee industry nor the government itself has really tried brainstorming a solution. If that can't be achieved, they want the government to ban disposable coffee cups completely.

Many major United Kingdom coffee shops give discounts of up to 50 pence (56 euro cents) to customers who bring their own cups. Costa is also collecting cups from rival brands in its shops.

Britain produces 30,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste each year.

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. "I am an expert in making fantastic coffee, but they [the cup manufacturers] are the ones with the knowledge and resources to be able to change".

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




Suez's Palmer-Jones agreed, commenting that a charge "should be used to fund the collection of cups, since once they are separately collected they have a value and can be made into new products".

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

"The evidence is clear that these levies work - the 5p charge on plastic bags has massively reduced usage and helped protect our environment".

"With all the will in the world we can't make that change and we wish we could", he said. "The government must do the same and introduce the levy as soon as possible". About two dozen London cafés will test out a seven-cent fee for drinks served in disposable cups, coupled with "prominent marketing of reusable cups".

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

In his Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond described plastic waste as a "scourge" and announced that he and Environment Secretary Michael Gove would investigate a single-use plastic tax to reduce waste.

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