MPs urged the Government to introduce a 25p levy on disposable coffee cups to help reduce waste.
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee suggested that a complete ban on the cups should be imposed if all single use coffee cups are not being recycled by 2023. It recommended that revenues from the levy be invested in reprocessing facilities and ‘binfrastructure’ ensuring that the remaining disposable cups are recycled.
Speaking on the potential "latte levy" on coffee cups, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), Kate Nicholls, said, "Efforts to reduce waste are welcome and steps to tackle environmental damage are laudable, but the major concern here is that it will simply increase costs for businesses without having any discernible effect in tackling the problem.
“Small and medium-sized businesses will be particularly vulnerable to cost increases and many of them will find it difficult to absorb this cost or even pass it onto customers as the cost of the cup is already factored into the price."
In a release, Biopac, UK developer and supplier of environmentally responsible packaging and catering disposables, said it is pleased with the high amount of press around single use disposables and recycling in the UK. "Such levels of exposure will only help highlight the ongoing issues that the industry is facing. Following on from our previous statement, we would like to reiterate our stance that taxing the use of these items is not an effective way forward, and merely patches over the underlying issues with waste management and infrastructure in the UK."
The company added, "Regarding the “Latte Levy” we support the latest statement issued by the Food Packaging Association (FPA). The industry has highlighted this issue and is willing to provide funding for cup recycling. As this is the case, why charge the consumer? Considering the volume of press on this matter, Biopac is saddened about the lack of conversation on compostable products. Compostables provide a market ready solution across the catering disposable market, yet the focus remains on oil based plastics and recycling. A compostable range eliminates the need for sorting and filtering of waste. Standard collection bins could be issued for all food waste and compostable packaging to be disposed of together – reducing costs and also providing a streamlined waste collection service."
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