Latte Levy a Vital Step Forward for Plastic Recycling

05 January 2018, Ross Matthewman

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has today strongly welcomed the new report from the Environmental Audit Committee on coffee cups, following their inquiry into disposable packaging.

Within the report, the Committee’s main recommendation is for the Government to introduce a 25p latte levy on disposable coffee cups, and for all coffee cups to be recycled by 2023.

The committee was also critical of current proposals which provide customers discounts if they use reusable cups, pointing out that uptake is incredibly low at just 1 to 2 percent of coffee purchases.

In a further wake up call to government, it was also revealed that less than 1 percent of disposable cups are currently recycled.

Tony Lewis, Head of Policy at CIEH said:

“This report is very welcome. CIEH has been strongly calling on the Government to adopt a tax on disposable coffee cups since last summer, and we are delighted that the Environmental Audit Committee has now added its support for this important measure. 

Admirable efforts have been made by coffee chains to promote discounts for returning previous cups. However, it is simply not enough for the Government to hand responsibility for dealing with this issue to the industry. 

We want to see the recommendations in the EAC’s report adopted in full by the Government and enshrined in legislation.”


Notes to editors 

  1. The Environmental Audit Committee report can be downloaded and viewed here.

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About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):   

The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 8,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved. 

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. The CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.  

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