MPs call for 25p ‘latte levy’ on disposable coffee cups

Posted On: 
5th January 2018

MPs have called for a 25p charge on disposable coffee cups in a bid to reduce harm to the environment. 

Campaigners say disposable coffee cups are damaging the environment.

A report by the Environmental Audit Committee recommends that the cash raised by the so-called "latte levy" should be invested in recycling.

Committee chair Mary Creagh said: "The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year - that's enough to circle the planet five and a half times.

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"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."

The MPs also suggest that throwaway cups should be prohibited altogether by 2023 if recycling does not improve.

However, Mike Turner, of the Paper Cup Alliance, hit back against the report’s findings.

He said: "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."

"Taxing the morning coffee run will not address the issue of litter, but it will hurt consumers and impact already struggling High Streets."

The intervention comes after it emerged that the Environment Secretary’s own department was using 1,400 disposable cups a day.

Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Tim Farron said at the time: "Millions of plastic cups have been thrown away by the government, some of which will now be polluting our seas, rivers and countryside.

"Michael Gove needs to get his own house in order.”