A new tax could be placed on coffee cups in order to reduce waste.
Environment Minister Rory Stewart has suggested to the House of Commons that a cup tax could be introduced, similar to the plastic bag tax, to try and encourage customers to bring their own refillable flasks to cafés, The Independent reports.
Research has indicated that just one in 400 cups sold by high street café chains is recycled. That’s millions, if not billions, of takeaway cups thrown away each year.
Mr Stewart said:
It’s a huge problem and there are tens of millions of these things being produced and thrown away…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.
But don’t worry – it’s not a done deal.
Labour MP Rob Marris disagreed with Stewart’s suggestion for a new cup tax, saying ‘it will not encourage people to take their own cups in if a coffee goes up from £1.90 to £1.95.’ Which is probably true.
Instead, it is more likely that the government will focus on producing more environment-friendly cups.
Either way, 5p won’t keep me from getting my morning coffee. But it would be nice to see more recyclable cups available – and actually recycled.