Industry responds to coffee cups report

Industry responds to coffee cups report

Research by psychologists suggests charging customers 25p for a disposable cup would have a greater impact, reducing the number sold by up to 30%. Within the first year of charging for bags, usage decreased by 83 percent in the UK.

"The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year - that's enough to circle the planet five and a half times", said committee's chair, Mary Creagh MP. Or should they even be banned altogether?

Café chain Pret A Manger recently announced it will reduce 50p from the price of a hot drink when the customer buying it is using their own reusable coffee cup.

"Consumers don't think about the fact that we have to get rid of the packaging".

Latte levy: Coffee cups could be banned by 2023

"The UK has woken up and smelled the coffee cup nightmare", celebrity chef and environmental campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, said in a statement welcoming the report.

A number of waste and resources organisations, including CIWM, have this morning responded to calls from the Environmental Audit Committee for a 25p levy on disposable coffee cups, in its latest report, "Disposable Packaging: Coffee Cups". Many coffee drinkers are not aware of this and put their cups into recycling bins.

Now the United Kingdom goes through 500,000 coffee cups a day, most of which are not recycled - and can't be thanks to the mix of materials that makes them sturdy and waterproof.

Starbucks has pledged it will roll out a three-month trial of a 5p charge on disposable cups in up to 25 London stores. According to the report, just 0.25 per cent of cups are recycled, and 500,000 are littered every day.

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"The paper cups we manufacture in the United Kingdom are sustainably sourced, responsibly produced, recyclable and, through a number of facilities, are being recycled". The committee said that if the recycling target is not met then disposable coffee cups should be banned.

"A reusable cup is one of the easiest ways to reduce cup waste but the discounts offered by coffee companies are ineffective".

Make companies pay for producing mixed material packaging which is hard to recycle (coffee cups are a paper shell with a plastic lining bonded to the paper).

Once used, the paper part of the cup is usually contaminated by the cup's contents.

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Pearlfisher head of realisation Jen Nathan says, "Designers and design agencies should be playing a significant role in helping to advise their clients on the most sustainable materials and production practices and connecting them with innovative partners and suppliers who are helping to find solutions to challenges like that of takeaway coffee cups".

The U.K. government said it would consider the lawmakers' recommendations.

Mr Palmer-Jones said: "For any so-called latte tax to be more than just a light and frothy foam nod to reform, we need to wake up and smell the real coffee needed for a lasting brew".

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