LONDON (Reuters) – Britain ought to cost a 25-pence “latte levy” on disposable espresso cups to chop down waste and ban them if a recycling goal just isn’t met by 2023, a committee of lawmakers stated on Friday.
Less than 1 p.c of espresso cups are recycled in Britain due to the tightly bonded plastic liner, the difficulties of recycling packaging which has been involved with foods and drinks and a scarcity of services, the lawmakers stated.
Chains Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee (WTB.L), Caffe Nero and Greggs (GRG.L) alongside U.S. agency Starbucks (SBUX.O) are among the many largest coffee-sellers in Britain and have quickly expanded within the final 10 years to fulfill rising demand.
Although some retailers give a reduction to prospects utilizing their very own cup, solely 1-2 p.c of patrons take up the provide, based on parliament’s environmental audit committee which stated a “latte levy” was wanted as an alternative.
“The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet five and a half times,” stated 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 stated.
The committee stated that cash raised by the cost ought to assist enhance recycling services and if the 2023 goal just isn’t met then disposable espresso cups ought to be banned.
The Irish parliament is contemplating banning single-use espresso cups while the German metropolis Hamburg stated in 2016 it should not use coffee-makers with aluminium capsules in its personal places of work or buildings.
In October 2015, Britain launched a cost of 5 pence on all single-use plastic baggage offered by giant outlets, which led to an 83 p.c discount in UK plastic baggage used within the first 12 months.
On Friday the surroundings ministry stated the government was working intently with the sector and had made progress in rising recycling charges.
“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,” stated a ministry spokeswoman.
“We will carefully consider the committee’s recommendations and respond shortly,” she stated.
Caffe Nero stated it was working with others to know and deal with the problems which stop the widespread recycling of paper cups.
Costa Coffee and Greggs stated they supplied a reduction to these utilizing reusable cups however Costa stated the government additionally wanted to give attention to enhancing recycling infrastructure. Pret A Manger’s prospects have benefitted from a 50 pence low cost from this week.
U.S chain Starbucks will trial a 5 pence levy at as much as 25 London branches in February for 3 months.
“We will investigate the impact of a 5p charge on a paper cup, coupled with prominent marketing of reusable cups, on customer behaviour,” it stated in a press release posted on its web site.
Editing by Kate Holton/Guy Faulconbridge