As many of you may have heard, a large number of MP’s are pushing for a so-called ‘Latte Levy’, which would result in your takeaway coffee costing an additional 25p. How dare they!?
What cups are currently used?
At this moment, the majority of paper cups that are in use are not easily recyclable. This is mainly due to the fact that they are made of 2 different layers to make them watertight. They have a cardboard outer and a tightly bonded polyethene lining on the inside.
Due to the complexity of separating those 2 layers, there are limited places in the UK that can recycle these. In total there are 3 facilities that are able to separate these layers and then recycle them.
Due to this, there are a large number of single-use paper cups that go in the landfills. Around half a million single-use cups are dropped as litter each day in the UK. This is a shocking statistic.
What measures are being used to reduce the number of single-use cups?
Charging for cups
There are a number of different things that are being implemented to attempt to reduce the number of single-use paper cups, the most recent one being Starbucks charging 5p for a single-use cup. Don’t worry this does not affect the whole of the UK, there are 20-25 stores that are taking part in this. All of those stores are in and around London (the City and West End), this is one of the more considerable moves taken by any of the leading coffee chains.
All of the money that Starbucks gets from selling those cups for 5p is going to a charity to help them see how this charge could help to change the behaviour of their customers and help to reduce the overall waste of single-use cups.
Incentivising the use of reusable mugs
The majority of the leading coffee chains are now incentivising the use of reusable mugs. However, this has not seen the return that many had expected. The uptake of the discounted prices is really low, at only 1-2% of purchases involving the use of reusable mugs.
Starbucks was the first company to implement the incentives to those who use reusable mugs, they first started off by offering a 10p discount, but in recent years this incentive has been increased to 25p to attempt to increase the number of people that are using reusable mugs.
Some interesting facts
Around 2.5 billion single-use paper cups are thrown away each year in the UK. With only 1 in 400, being recycled. But a recent poll revealed that 50%, of those asked, thought that most or all of their cups were recycled.
The research also found that most people (89%) thought coffee shops should stock recyclable paper cups and 92% said they thought it was important to be able to dispose of takeaway cups within the normal recycling system.
20 million trees are cut down to make paper cups every year. And if you were to save 1 cup for 40 years you would have the equivalent of 24 trees.
What can we do?
Well, there are a couple of different ideas that are being trialled, as well as some ideas that the Government have.
The first 2 ideas are linked, as mentioned above Starbucks are currently charging for single-use paper cups in 20-25 of their London stores. This is a bold move from Starbucks as they could end up seeing a drop in the number of sales in all those stores. However, this is a bonus for them as they are able to see if they can increase the number of people who are using reusable mugs. This move by Starbucks is also in line with a possible move by the Government. They are looking to introduce a tax on single-use cups, this is being dubbed the ‘Latte Levy’, in the hope that this will reduce the number of single-use cups that are thrown away each year.
Many coffee drinks are not happy with this proposal, but a large number are supporting this eco-friendly move by the Government. They are expecting this move to be similar to the plastic carrier bag move, where there is a charge involved for those who choose to purchase them. If this is introduced into coffee stores there is expected to be a large drop in the number of single-use cups that are used each year.
Use Reusable Cups
Using reusable cups is the way forward to avoid any additional costs when buying your morning coffee from your store of choice. But how do you know what type of mug should you use? Well, there are a number of travel mugs available at Promo Parrot. Out of all the travel mugs, the eco-friendliest one is The Americano Mug. This mug is also very similar in shape to the conventional single-use cups, therefore when you are using them you will hardly notice a difference.
There are a number of other travel mugs that are available, but many people are now turning to the Americano Mug as the others have handles and closable lids. But don’t let this scare you away from using other travel mugs to the Americano. If you have a different style branded with your company’s logo, then people are definitely going to be looking to see what mug you are using.