Government 'Set To Impose Coffee Cup Levy' As Public Shows Support For Plastics Curb

George Bowden
A new 'latte levy' could help curb the use of throwaway plastics.

The government is considering plans to impose a coffee cup levy in a bid to curb the use of throwaway plastics.

Overwhelming public support for intervention to cut down on waste has given ministers the cover to explore the move, the Daily Mail reported.

The “latte levy” – which would operate in a similar way to the 5p plastic bag charge – could also target takeaway packaging and other disposable containers.

The newspaper reported that Chancellor Philip Hammond was exploring the introduction of taxes in addition to a new levy.

Rates on new “virgin” plastics and hard-to-recycle black plastic are among said to be being considered.

Hammond told the Daily Mail that the government will “consider the most promising policies in more depth”.

A study this month found just one third of UK waste was being recycled, with most items heading for landfill or incineration.

It comes after thousands responded to a Treasury call for ideas to tackle the problem of plastic waste, with huge support for new taxes to change behaviour.

Prime Minister Theresa May pledged in January to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years, including by encouraging supermarkets to introduce “plastic-free” aisles.

A ban on plastic microbeads – often found in face washes and cosmetics – has also come into force.

Last year, BBC documentary series Blue Planet II included footage highlighting the effect plastics have had on the seas, prompting public outrage.

Any crackdown on single-use plastics will already have champions in government.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove handed out reusable coffee cups to his colleagues at a cabinet meeting earlier this year.

Gove has also previously said that ministers were considering the “exciting idea” of a levy on throwaway cups.