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Saturday, January 06, 2018

Why the latte levy makes sense

The week after New Year is always a quiet one news-wise, hence the wall-to-wall coverage given to Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee proposal to levy a 25p levy on disposable cups and their demand that all paper drink cups should be recycled by 2023 or banned altogether.

For many people who enjoy a takeaway coffee on the way to work this may seem a bit over-the-top, but as the Mirror points out, cups used by chains like Starbucks and Costa are hard to process due to the plastic lining, and as only three recycling sites can split out paper and plastic, fewer than 1% are recycled.

That means that 2.5 billion of these cups go to landfill each year, an unacceptable burden on our environment, especially when one considers the resources expended to replace them.

The introduction of a 5p plastic bag levy, trail-blazed in Wales and copied across the UK, had a massive impact in reducing the use of these carriers. There is no reason why a levy on disposable cups cannot have a similar impact especially when there are alternatives available.

It did not take much for people to remember to carry their own bags into shops, surely it is not too onerous a burden to ask that coffee drinkers change their habits too by bringing their own reusable cup. After all the future of the planet is at stake.
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