MPs are calling for a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups – and a total ban unless recycling improves.
A report by the Environmental Audit Committee published today says the tax should be used to improve the UK’s recycling and reprocessing facilities.
MPs and campaigners say throwaway cups should be prohibited altogether by 2023 if they are not all being recycled.
In response, Starbucks said it would try out a 5p cup charge in 25 central London outlets.
“We will begin the trial in February and initially it will last for three months,” the firm said, adding that it continued to offer a 25p discount to customers who brought their own reusable cups.
Pret A Manger already offers customers who bring in their own reusable cups a substantial discount.
The committee’s chair, Mary Creagh MP, said: “The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year – that’s enough to circle the planet five and a half times.
“Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered. Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and government has sat on its hands.
“The UK’s coffee shop market is expanding rapidly, so we need to kick start a revolution in recycling.”
Around 2.5 billion coffee cups are used annually in the UK.