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London Assembly calls for a ban on non-recyclable coffee cups

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LONDON, UK – The London Assembly has today called on the Mayor to lobby the Government to introduce a tax on single-use plastics and ban single-use, non-recyclable hot drinks cups.

Léonie Cooper AM, who proposed the motion said:

“With plastic polluting our rivers and oceans, causing terrible consequences for wildlife and our environment, we need urgent action.

“The Mayor has led in helping Londoners to tackle disposable plastic use, not least with the successful water refill scheme. Londoners clearly want to help, but their ability to reduce their disposable use does depend on the availability – or lack thereof – of suitable alternatives.

“The Government needs to step up and do more, not least with the introduction of a tax on all single-use plastics and a ban on non-recyclable coffee cups. I’d also like to see the Mayor lobby the Government to designate London as a pilot city for their proposed Deposit Return Scheme, something there is a real appetite for here in the capital.”

The full text of the motion is:

The London Assembly notes that each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics are discarded into the world’s oceans – equivalent to the contents of a rubbish truck every minute. Furthermore, a recent study found that many fish in the river Thames have ingested plastic fibres, as much as 75% of one species. In the UK we use 7 million disposable coffee cups every day – that’s 2.5 billion every year – and very few are recycled.

The Assembly also notes the Mayor’s previous work to reduce single-use plastic consumption in London, in particular the water refill scheme, which was implemented following an Environment Committee investigation into single-use plastic bottles.

The Assembly believes that more needs to be done at national level to reduce the quantities of plastic in circulation by increasing the uptake of non-plastic alternatives and recycled plastic only where necessary. Londoners’ ability to cut down on single-use plastic is to a large extent dependent on the availability of alternatives on the market.

The Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor to lobby Government to strengthen their forthcoming resources and waste policies following the consultation periods, by introducing a tax on all single-use plastics and banning single-use, non-recyclable hot drinks cups.

The Assembly also calls on the Mayor to work with Government to designate London as a pilot city for their forthcoming Deposit Return Scheme, as was recommended in the previous Environment Committee report.