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Would you pay 25p extra for your morning coffee to cut waste?

Alice Pritchard

5 January 2018

British MPs are discussing whether a 25p tax on disposable coffee cups will help the UK's addiction to takeaway drinks. The 'latte levy' could be a way to reduce the 2.5 billion coffee cups we get through a year.

The Environmental Audit Committee has recommended that takeaway drinks cups follow the tax on plastic bags which has seen their usage reduce by 80%.

Currently the UK goes through 500,000 coffee cups a day, most of which are not recycled - and can't be thanks to the mix of materials that makes them sturdy and waterproof. Even though some are recyclable, the UK has just three facilities where the paper and plastic can be separated. 

Less than 1% of coffee cups in the UK are recycled.

The news follows hot on the heels of Pret A Manger's announcement that it will give reusable cup holders 50p off hot drinks from this month. 

The levy idea isn't welcomed by everyone and is being opposed by paper cup makers, especially as MPs are also suggesting that non-recyable disposable cups be outlawed by 2023.

Want to be part of the solution? Buy a reusable glass coffee cup here.

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