Cof­fee cup tax to end ‘throw­away cul­ture’

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Michael Black­ley Scot­tish Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

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

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