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Starbucks trials 5p charge on disposable cups

Starbucks trials 5p charge on disposable cups

While the Irish government has already proposed a charge on disposable coffee cups, and Bristol City Council recently voted to charge for cups in all its buildings, United Kingdom officials have so far been loathe to commit to a similar scheme, with Resources Minister Therese Coffey commenting in November that voluntary action was already being taken within the industry (for instance, Starbucks offer a 25 pence discount for using a disposable cup).

A 25p "latte levy" should be placed on disposable coffee cups and all must be recycled by 2023 or face being banned altogether, say MPs.

The Committee's report also recommends that all single-use coffee cups are recycled by 2023, and if this isn't in effect by then that there is an outright coffee cup ban.

It's not just MPs making plans to tackle the issue of coffee cup waste.

"The UK's coffee shop market is expanding rapidly, so we need to kick start a revolution in recycling".

"Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered".

The MPs say the charge would lead to 750 million fewer disposable cups being discarded as litter, incinerated or sent to landfill, and would generate £438m. "We now have 1.8 percent of our customers using reusable cups", it said in a statement.

It added: "We recommend that the Government sets a target that all single use coffee cups disposed of in recycling bins should be recycled by 2023".

Starbucks also began trialling a fully-recyclable coffee cup, invented by the entrepreneur and engineer Martin Myerscough, in some of its United Kingdom branches in June past year.

And, the committee also stated that the tax should go towards improving recycling and reprocessing facilities.

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The sandwich chain Pret A Manger said last month that it will increase its discount for bringing a reusable cup from 25 pence to 50 pence from January 2018.

Money raised from the trial will be used to fund a behavioural change study, undertaken by environmental charity group Hubbub, on how customers can be encouraged to use reusable cups.

Starbucks said on Friday it would trial a 5p charge on takeaway coffee cups for three months in about 20 London cafes.

A 5p charge on coffee cups was first proposed by the Liberal Democrats after it emerged a year ago that only one in 400 was being recycled.

"The whole point is to change behaviour and I'm glad the select committee has endorsed this Liberal Democrat campaign", he said.

Mr Stemman said the industry should continue to focus on other environmental issues such as cutting water use, carbon reduction, and turning waste coffee grounds into biofuel.

If approved, the 25p levy will be introduced on all disposable coffee cups sold in cafés, restaurants and coffee shops.

In 2015, Britain introduced a 5 pence charge for plastic carrier bags, legislation that slashed usage and has taken about 9 billion plastic bags out of circulation, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Grocer has contacted Pret and Costa for comment.

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