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News / February 12, 2018

UK pushes for action on ‘latte levy’

by Guy Hiscott

The UK House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee recently announced its report findings into disposable coffee cups, urging the government to introduce a ‘latte levy’.

The levy would see a 25p charge per disposable cup of coffee purchased in the UK.

A similar discussion for a latte levy in Ireland began towards the end of 2017.

The reported that an initial charge that could be approximately 10 to 15 cent per cup, similar to the plastic bag levy.

The Irish environment secretary Denis Naughten told The Independent: ‘International research shows that combining financial incentives, reusable alternatives and better messaging around environmental impact of single-use coffee cups all have a direct impact on consumer behaviour.’

Additionally, a poll on suggests that 49% believe a ‘latte levy’ on disposable cups should be introduced; compared to 31% who say disposable cups should be banned altogether, and 18% who believe that ‘nothing should change’.

Impact on waste

Around two million takeaway coffee cups are sent to landfill in Ireland each day.

Figures show that at least 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year in the UK and only one in 400 of these are recycled.

The proposal on a similar levy on disposable coffee cups for Ireland is still in early stages.