Coffee cup tax to end ‘throwaway culture’
COFFEE shop customers would face an extra charge every time they use a disposable cup in the latest radical bid to end Scotland’s ‘throwaway culture’. The Scottish Government has announced it will consider a mandatory coffee cup charge, similar to the 5p carrier bag fee, to cut waste and litter.
Detailed plans are to be drawn up in a move which would be a victory for the Daily Mail’s Curb the Cups campaign.
It comes after ministers this week backed a radical deposit return scheme for drinks containers, which will see a refundable 10p charge added to cans and bottles, following another Mail campaign.
Documents published to accompany Nicola Sturgeon’s programme for government confirm that ministers will commission detailed research on how a cups charge could be introduced.
The document states: ‘We will also go further in our efforts to end the “throwaway” culture by examining how to reduce demand for single-use items, such as disposable coffee cups.
‘We will appoint an expert panel to advise on the use of charges, similar to the successful plastic bag charge, with the goal of encouraging long-term and sustainable changes in consumer behaviour.’
The Daily Mail’s Curb the Cups campaign has highlighted cup waste and litter.
Writing in today’s Scottish Daily Mail, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham says the commitment to a deposit return scheme is ‘a tangible opportunity to change Scotland’s mindset on waste’.
Existing cups used by the likes of Starbucks, Costa, Pret and McDonald’s have a thin plastic coating that means they cannot easily be recycled.
Willie Mackenzie, oceans expert at Greenpeace UK, said: ‘We welcome the Scottish Government’s initiative.
‘Strong and clear legislation can play an essential role in levelling the playing field for retailers and encouraging behaviour change too.’
But Martin Kersh, of the Foodservice Packaging Association, said: ‘A charge on cups will not in any way change the behaviour of those who feel it’s acceptable to litter as research has shown.’
Eyesore: Customers face charges for cups like this pile dumped in street