The Liberal Democrats have called for the introduction of a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups to cut usage.
The policy builds on the success of the charge on plastic bags which the Liberal Democrats introduced in government and has seen a reduction in bags used by over 85% since it was brought in. If a charge on cups had the same impact over 2 billion fewer cups would be used every year.
Currently 2.5 billion disposable cups are thrown away every year in the UK – around 7 million every day - and fewer than 1 in 400 are recycled.
The Liberal Democrats are putting their beliefs into action by implementing the 5p charge on disposable cups for hot drinks bought at their party conference this September.
Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron MP, said:
“Throwaway cups are a threat to wildlife and the environment and its high time the Government stepped in to reduce the amount of waste created each year. I want to see a culture shift towards bringing your own cup for a refill, rather than buying cups which are often non-recyclable and then throwing them away. Liberal Democrats brought in the plastic bag charge and it’s been proven highly successful – coffee cups are the next logical step.”
Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, Kate Parminter, said:
“We’ve seen how dramatically a small charge has affected public behaviour when it comes to the plastic bags and its clearly time to extend it to coffee cups. Most people purchase a tea or coffee and throw away the cup without even thinking about it, but a charge would increase our awareness of the environmental impact.
"Protecting our environment has to be a priority of government, with more investment in recycling and a move towards generating less waste - the Conservative government has shown no desire to deliver this and has failed to build on the work we achieved in Government. This has to change.”