Economy

Starbucks to start charging for disposable cups

Starbucks to start charging for disposable cups

The announcement comes a few days after British officials debated whether to begin charging a 25-pence "latte levy" on all disposable cups sold in Great Britain to cut down on waste and potentially ban them if certain recycling targets aren't met.

The three-month trial, beginning in February, will be a global first for the company, a spokesperson said.

Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said the UK's 2.5 billion thrown-away disposable cups could circle the Earth five and a half times, saying, "Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered". Alarmingly, the report identified that many consumers mistakenly believe that paper coffee cups are "widely recycled".

Coffee cups are hard to recycle, due to the plastic liner which makes them waterproof. "Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and the government has sat on its hands".

Dawn Ritchie, a manager in the kitchen buying department at Argos, said that the popularity of the cups was partially fuelled by the success of popular documentaries like Blue Planet II, but also by the fact that some of the UK's big coffee chains had started offering discounts to customers bringing in their own cup.

"We found that this did not move the needle in the way we thought it might".

More news: OJ Simpson addresses rumor he's Khloe Kardashian's dad

Will a 5-pence (p) charge convince Londoners to drink their Starbucks in reusable cups?

Per an official statement, Starbucks notes the "growing concern" about the extent of the UK's use of single-use paper cups, which can not now be recycled.

In the trial, "we will be exploring the impact that a cup charge may have in changing behaviour in addition to the measures we, and the whole industry, are taking on cup recycling", Starbucks said.

A report published last week by the Environmental Audit Committee stated that 2.5bn takeaway coffee cups are thrown away each year in the United Kingdom, with MPs calling for a 25p levy on the price of a takeaway coffee to reduce the number of cups thrown away.

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