Coffee cups to be taxed like plastic bags?

starbucks cup There's a recycling nightmare going on in the coffee shop world, so there's suggestions that coffee cups could be taxed like plastic bags, in a big to reduce the waste they're creating. Remember how crazy some people went when the 5p plastic bag charge was brought in? Well, this could be round two.

With millions of coffee cups being chucked away each year, and only one in every 400 sold getting recycled, you can see there's a bit of a problem.

Minister Rory Stewart thinks that the way to solve this, is to introduce a coffee cup tax, in a bid to get people to take their own cups to coffee shops. Of course, Starbucks already sell their own branded cups which you can reuse, but clearly, more needs to be done.

In parliament, Stewart was asked what the government intend to do about this problem. He answered: "It’s a huge problem and there are tens of millions of these things being produced and thrown away. As you have pointed out, many of these things cannot be recycled either by the way they’re disposed or because of the composition of the cup."

"Having tackled plastic bags, which I hope everybody in the House would agree the plastic bag tax has been a success, coffee cups seem to be a very good thing to look at next."

Replying to this, MP Rob Marris said: "My initial reaction is charging 5p or 10p for the cup will not work- it will not encourage people to take their own cups in if a coffee goes up from £1.90 to £1.95."

"I suspect a more technological answer is what we need- either the composition of the disposable cups being changed so they’re more easily recyclable, as it’s quite a palaver at the moment, or changing the technology in the recycling. I think the Government should take a lead in encouraging research into a better product to begin with or better technology."

1 comment

  • Sledge
    Problem with making the cups more recyclable is that it usually means making them less biodegradable. Remember when McDonalds had Big Macs in polystyrene boxes? Highly recyclable but not really biodegradable. After a bit of a smear campaign from Burger King, they changed to waxed cardboard. Not recyclable but more biodegrable. Hold on . . . there's no pithy comment in this. Erm . . . "we'll be haggling over the price of coffee cups like a bunch of COSTA-mongers", arf arf. Phew, made it.

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