what to do with disposable cups
The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year so the government has proposed that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023, and they should be banned if the target is not met, the Environmental Audit Committee has said this week.
We have heard in the news that there is a proposal to introduce a 25p per cup levy on takeaway cups, the so called “Latte levy” which will then be used to improve recycling facilities. This idea is based on the success of the 5p carrier bag charge which has succeeded in a reduction of plastic bags but will this work for coffee cups. There are some good reasons why we think it won’t.
· Some shops already give money off the price of a hot drink for customers who use reusable cups, such as Pret A Manger, which has just doubled its discount to 50p.
· Statistics show that the uptake of these offers was low at only 1% to 2% of coffee purchases, and consumers were more responsive to a charge than a discount.
· At the moment almost all of them are incinerated, exported or sent to landfill because their plastic lining makes them costly to recycle.
· Less than one percent of coffee cups are recycled because there are only three facilities in the UK that can split the paper and plastic components.
So what is the solution??