Thursday 25 July 2024
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‘Latte levy’ could cost £819m and risk UK jobs, says industry group

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The Paper Cup Alliance (PCA), which represents UK cup manufacturers, has claimed that a levy on disposable coffee cups could cost the economy £819 million and result in 11,000 job losses in the coffee retail sector.

The new research was commissioned by the PCA, an industry group representing the UK’s eight main paper cup manufacturers, and carried out by environmental research consultancy Ecuity, finding that the costs associated with a tax on disposable beverage cups outweigh the benefits.

A charge on takeaway hot beverages has been backed by Parliament’s cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), which has repeatedly called for the government to introduce a 25-pence charge on disposable cups in order to encourage the uptake of reusable alternatives, with revenue from the charge going to fund the UK’s recycling infrastructure.

However, the government response to the EAC’s recent report on coffee cup waste stated that it prefers to support voluntary commitments by retailers over legislative action

The PCA states that, given paper cups make up just 0.7 per cent of total paper packaging waste, a ‘latte levy’ would disproportionately hit the paper cup manufacturing sector and the hot beverage retail sector, rather than requiring all packaging producers to take equal responsibility for their waste.

And according to the report, a 25-pence levy would result in just 5.7 per cent of consumers making the switch to reusable alternatives, while eight per cent of consumers would simply forgo making a purchase at all.

Rob Cole

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