UK government says no to coffee cup tax

Paper coffee cups are not to be taxed in near future

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed that the UK government will not be imposing a coffee cup tax on throwaway paper cups handed out by coffee shops such as Starbucks and Costa.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defra, Rory Stewart, hinted at the possibility of the government introducing a tax on the throwaway coffee cups while speaking in the House of Commons. Mr Stewart said the tax would be a positive step considering how successful the 5p carrier bag charge has been across Britain.

UK government will not text coffee cups

Paper coffee cups used by coffee shops such as Costa will not be taxed


According to recent figures, the people of UK use seven million paper cups per day; this equates to 2.5bn paper cups every year and only one in 400 of these are recycled. Big name coffee chains, including Costa, Starbucks, Pret, and Caffè Nero have been heavily criticised recently for deceiving customers about the cups that they use.

These nationwide coffee chains claim that their paper cups are environmentally friendly and recyclable. The protective sleeves which Café Nero and Pret put around their cups claim to be 100% recyclable or recycled, but campaigners say that this is misleading as customers could think it applies to the whole cup.

In the House of Commons Mr Stewart said: “Having tackled plastic bags, which I hope everybody in the house would agree the plastic bag tax has been a success, coffee cups seem to be a very good thing to look at next.”

However, just hours later a spokesperson for Defra said that there were no plans to introduce a coffee cup tax but admitted that “more needs to be done to recycle coffee cups”.

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