Should there be a 'latte levy' on coffee cups? Readers have their say

The Independent is campaigning to reduce plastic waste – this is a selection of your letters

Latte levy: The plastic problem inside your coffee cup

Coffee shops should be required to have reusable cups available for sale to their customers. Similarly they should sell reusable water bottles.

Michael Donithorn
Address supplied

Manufacturers should pick up the cost

Why should the consumer once again be asked to pay a “latte tax” on non-recyclable coffee cups. There is a company in the UK that produces recyclable coffee cups yet they struggle to get companies to use them because obviously they cost a bit more.

The onus of responsibility should be placed on the people that produce non-recyclable coffee cups and the companies that use them, not the consumer who was duped into thinking that cups were recyclable.

The quick answer is to ban the use of all non-recyclable coffee cups as soon as possible, there are already alternatives available, and end this farce.

The Government needs to take a firm hand on this and put the state of our planet ahead of commercial profit.

Derek Osborne
Address supplied

It all stacks up

I notice that all coffee outlets offer a bin for disposal of used cups where coffee is consumed on the premises. No attempt is made to consolidate this waste, whereas no doubt the new cups are delivered to the premises, nesting in each other, thus saving a huge amount of volume. If disposal facilities in premises allowed used cups to be nested, this would make handling of waste more efficient and space-saving, offering financial savings to the operator, reduction in transport and disposal costs and/or treatment.

Alastair Duncan
Ringwood

We need more recycling bins

Let’s get real. The main market for coffee shops is predominantly busy working people in cities. I certainly would not find it practical to carry a reusable cup.

What we need is smaller recycling bins strategically placed around cities. My coffee is usually finished after a five-minute walk and I have never seen a recycling bin to put it in around Manchester. These bins can be funded by taxing the coffee companies who claim to make little profit in the UK.

Paul Travis
Manchester

I am an avid recycler and I would be happy to recycle every bit of plastic I can get my hands on. But when my local council changed their recycling system to a mixed bin collection, they stopped collecting plastics labelled five and six, and we can now only recycle labels one and two. A great deal of plastic is not labelled at all, or uses a hotchpotch of other symbols. We are told not to pollute our bins with the plastics they don’t want to collect. Why is it still legal not to have a single clear national labelling system on all plastic produced?

My local recycling centre is a 10 mile round trip away on a road I rarely use. I am not allowed to use the recycling centres I pass on regular journeys because they are in different local authorities. Is it worth a 10 mile car journey to recycle a toaster?

I am only an occasional user of takeaway cups and would gladly dispose of them in a recycling bin, but we are told they aren’t recyclable, and have you tried finding a recycling bin at a railway station?

Those who regularly buy take out drinks probably won’t care about the extra charge. Surely it must be the manufacturers of these plastics who should take the cost hit? We would soon have clearly labelled recyclable plastic if there was a tax levy on the manufacturers of plastic, which doesn’t comply with logical recycling rules.

Margaret Adams
Keighley

What you can do

1. So far the MPs’ report is just a recommendation. Have your say: write to your MP supporting the proposal.

2. Tell us what you think by emailing lattelevy@independent.co.uk. If you send us one of the 100 most useful comments, we’ll forward it on to the Environmental Audit Committee and we’ll send you an Independent-branded reusable coffee cup.

3. Buy a reusable coffee cup – many cafes already offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup. You can find a selection of our recommendations here.

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