Members of the UK Parliament have proposed a 25p latte levy on disposable coffee cups and for all coffee cups to be recycled by 2023.
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) believes that additional charge to be paid on top of the price of a coffee will encourage customers to bring reusable cups.
British MP and EAC head Mary Creagh said: “A reusable cup is one of the easiest ways to reduce cup waste but the discounts offered by coffee companies are ineffective.
“The plastic bag charge is proof that charges are highly effective at reducing packaging waste. We urge the government to introduce a 25p charge on disposable cups.”
The EAC is calling on the government to use the funds raised through levy to improve the recycling ‘binfrastructure’ and reprocessing facilities in the country.
The UK currently only has three recycling facilities that can split out the paper and plastic components of coffee cups for recycling, resulting in less than 1% of coffee cups being recycled.
The country currently throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year.
The government must also set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023. If it fails to achieve the target, a ban must be imposed on disposable coffee cups.
The EAC has also urged the government to print ‘not widely recycled’ labels on coffee cups from cafes without in-store recycling systems.
Cups from cafes with in-store recycling systems should be labelled ‘recyclable in store only’.