A More Friendly Coffee Run

The British government is cracking down on its’ coffee culture. The caffeine boost has proven ethical, but the unrecyclable cup is not as environmentally friendly. The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in Parliament suggests a tax on coffee cups, claiming that the money will aid in paying for waste management and recycling facilities.

An estimated 2.5 billion cups get thrown in the trash instead of recycled in England. The government and the coffee industry has no plans for a solution. Therefore the committee wants to push harsher measures, by 2023, if coffee cups are not recyclable they will impose a ban. The government is aware that charging a fee works, considering the charge on plastic bags has drastically reduced usage and helped improve the environment.

The Paper Cup Alliance opposes the tax claiming paper cups were made to be the safest solution for to go drinks. Mike Turner thinks the tax will not help the issue of littering, but it will harm consumers. He claims the cups are recyclable and recycled in many facilities. In response, the committee says the plastic lining inside the cups makes them more expensive to recover, and businesses do not pay as much to supply and produce them as it costs the city to dispose of them.

Starbucks has taken on the responsibility of eco-friendliness. Locations in London will experiment with a seven-cent fee for drinks served in disposable cups while simultaneously marketing reusable cups. Other coffee serving chains have taken similar measures.

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