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UK govt. rejects calls for disposable coffee cup levy

Starbucks cupsThe UK government has rejected calls from the Liberal Democrats to impose a charge of 5 pence on disposable coffee cups to reduce waste.

The UK’s Environment Minister, Therese CoffeyThe UK government has rejected calls from the Liberal Democrats to impose a charge of five pence on disposable coffee cups to reduce waste.

The UK’s Environment Minister, Therese Coffey, said that the industry and coffee chains were already taking their own actions, such as offering a discount to customers who brought their own cup.

Starbucks is the only major chain in the UK to offer a discount – of 25 pence – to customers for bringing their own reusable cup, while Caffe Nero gives customers double stamps on their loyalty card for doing so.

The topic became a hot political issue after it was revealed earlier this year that just one in 400 disposable coffee cups used in the UK are easily recycled due to the way they are manufactured. The UK uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups per year.

The UK has drastically reduced the use of plastic bags after the introduction of a mandatory five pence charge for every plastic bags used.

In the first six months of the policy, the UK’s plastic bag usage dropped from 3.5 billion to 500 million.

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