United Kingdom needs 'latte levy' on disposable coffee cups to cut waste: lawmakers

MPs on the Environment Audit Committee say the charge would encourage consumers to bring their own reusable cups.

A cross-party committee called for urgent action to curb the mountain of up to five billion disposable coffee cups dumped each year, nearly none of which are recycled.

The MPs say that all of these cups should be recycled by 2023 - or the Government should step in and ban them.

Coffee shops have been pulling the wool over customers' eyes, telling us their cups can be recycled, when less than one per cent are.

The Committee added that the money raised will be used to improve the UK's recycling "binfrastructure" and reprocessing facilities.

Instead coffee chains perpetuated customer confusion that cups are widely recyclable when they are not. "We're calling for clearer labelling so people can make informed choices about their use and disposal of coffee cups".

Coffee cups are used for a matter of moments, but will pollute our planet for centuries to come.

But just four recycling companies in the United Kingdom can separate the plastic film lining the inside of the paper cup.

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The government has agreed that plastic waste is a problem, and has promised to look into a tax on single-use plastics, and plans to reveal a new policy later this year.

The committee's report states: 'There is no excuse for the reluctance we have seen from Government and industry to address coffee cup waste. "Legislation needs to set a date after which the continued production of unrecyclable coffee cups is banned by law".

Only one per cent of the cups sold by caf├ęs "to-go" are recycled, most are sent for landfill or incineration.

Numerous cups are printed with the three-arrow triangular "Mobius loop" symbol that eight out of ten people think means they can be put in the recycling. Spokesman Mike Turner said: 'The paper cups we manufacture in the United Kingdom are sustainably sourced, responsibly produced, recyclable and. are being recycled.

Disposable cups can not be recycled by the normal systems because they are made from cardboard with a tightly bonded polyethylene liner, which is hard to remove, and means they are not accepted by paper mills.

In October, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) established the Voluntary and Economic Incentives working group to examine ways to reduce litter and improve packaging recycling.

"By generating greater volumes of cups for recycling this will create a market for the material, making cups more attractive to waste management companies and creating the potential for more schemes to be introduced to collect cups from a much wider range of locations such as offices and high street locations".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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