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Scotland, PCRRG criticises proposal to introduce a coffee cup charge

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EDINBURGH, UK – The Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) has criticised a proposal to possibly introduce a coffee cup charge by the Scottish government.

The PCRRG said it did not believe that the introduction of charges on single use items such as paper cups will have a significant impact on their recovery, and called instead for collaborative work across the supply chain to develop improved recovery infrastructure.

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The Scottish government said it intends to appoint an expert panel to advise on the use of charges and end the ‘throw-away’ culture of single use items.

Neil Whittall, Chairman PCRRG, said: “Specifically, a potential charge on paper cups cannot be compared with the carrier bag charge, as much of the consumption of coffee away from home is spontaneous, unlike a planned shopping trip. Issues of convenience, hygiene risks (for both the consumer and the retail employee) and the risk of residues and spills also need to be taken into consideration.”

He also said charges will not address litter problems, which should be addressed by behaviour change-led programmes, such as Keep Scotland Beautiful’s ‘Give Your Litter A Lift’ campaign.

“We would very much welcome an open dialogue with the Scottish Government to discuss the industry’s efforts to date and help shape the infrastructure to support increasing recovery and recycling of paper cups,” said Whittall.