The Environmental Audit Committee in the UK has called on the government to introduce a 25p ‘latte levy’ on disposable coffee cups and for all coffee cups to be 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.”

The Committee has called on the government to:

  • Introduce a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups, and use the money raised to improve the UK’s recycling ‘binfrastructure’ and reprocessing facilities.
  • Set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023. If this target is not achieved, the Government should ban disposable coffee cups.
  • Make producers pay more for packaging which is difficult to recycle.
  • Improve labelling to educate consumers about how best to dispose of their cup.

For more information see the forthcoming March 2018 issue of Coffee & Cocoa International.

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