Reusable coffee cup sales rise in UK on talk of waste tax

UK retailers are reporting a huge lift in sales of reusable coffee cups after the government’s environmental audit committee proposed a levy on the use of disposable cups. Leading discount retailer Argos reported sales growth on 537 per cent , while kitchenware chain reported growth of 100 per cent . The government committee has floated the idea of placing a levy of 25 pence (about US$0.34) on every coffee purchased in a disposable cup in an effort to curb waste. Britons throw away about 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups per year, hardly any of which are recyclable, according to the UK Parliament’s environmental audit committee. The committee has proposed that as well as acting as a deterrent, the proceeds will be used to invest in recycling processes. The committee is also suggesting that the UK government set a target of making all takeaway cups recyclable by 2023, with a provision that takeaway cups be banned altogether if that target is not met.

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