Scottish Daily Mail
After success of 5p bag charge, could coffee cup fee be next?
THE 5p plastic bag charge has been so successful that a similar fee for coffee cups could follow, say researchers.
Nine in ten shoppers are now estimated to carry their own bags, with almost twothirds voicing support for the levy – up from just half last year.
Researchers say the public could now back the idea being extended to other disposable products, such as coffee cups, to further curb waste. There is also mounting support for a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and cans.
Earlier this year the Daily Mail highlighted how just one in every 400 cups handed out by chains such as Costa and Starbucks are recycled. This is because the cardboard cups include a plastic membrane that means they cannot easily be recycled along with paper waste.
The University of Cardiff study is the first to measure the charge’s impact on shopping habits.
The team, who will present their findings today, found support for the levy has risen from 51 per cent before it came into effect in October last year to 62 per cent today. Fewer than one in 15 shoppers now regularly take single-use carrier bags at the checkout, down from one in four before.
It comes after previous research found that the introduction of the charge – which has raised millions for good causes – means shoppers will take home six billion fewer plastic bags this year.
Lead researcher Professor Wouter Poortinga said: ‘We’ve seen that the charge has become increasingly popular... and that it has changed attitudes towards waste policies as well.
‘This suggests that other similar policies could be successfully implemented, such as a deposit return scheme on plastic bottles or a charge on disposable coffee cups.’
Last night Andy Cummins, of Surfers against Sewage, said the study had confirmed ‘the public would be open to further economic measures to help reduce littering, such as deposit return systems’.