Britain should charge a 25-pence ($0.34) “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups to cut down waste and ban them if a recycling target is not met by 2023, a committee of lawmakers said on Friday.
Chains Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero and Greggs alongside US firm Starbucks are among the biggest coffee-sellers in Britain and have rapidly expanded in the last 10 years to meet increasing demand, Reuters reported.
Some outlets give a discount to customers using their own cup, only 1-2 percent of buyers take up the offer, according to parliament’s environmental audit committee which said a “latte levy” was needed instead.
“The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet five and a half times,” said Chair of the committee, Mary Creagh.
“We’re calling for action to reduce the number of single use cups, promote reusable cups over disposable cups and to recycle all coffee cups by 2023,” she said.
The Committee stated that this type of cups should be banned unless the recycling target is met.
In October 2015, Britain introduced a charge of 5 pence on all single-use plastic bags provided by large shops, which led to an 83 percent reduction in UK plastic bags used in the first year.