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'Latte levy' on takeaway cups begins in London

27 February 2018

Customers of Starbucks are being charged 5p if they use a disposable cup in 35 London branches, in the first example of the suggested 'latte levy' to reduce waste.

Aimed at changing customer behaviour, the store's baristas will also offer the option of drinking within the store from a ceramic cup to avoid use of disposable alternatives.

The UK uses 2.5bn disposable drinking cups every year, which have been identified as a major issue as most are sent to landfill due to difficulties in recycling them.

With waste management another major issue for the FM sector, the issue surrounding disposable cups is relevant for all facilities, particularly those with cafes and coffee shops on site.

Prior to imposing the levy, Starbucks conducted a customer survey that showed that nearly 50% would begin using reusable cups if a levy was introduced.

The 5p levy will be donated to environmental charity Hubbub to fund further research.

Earlier this year, MPs called for a levy of 25p to be charged in a move designed to reduce wastage and the government's environmental plan has called for more evidence into charges for single-use items such as coffee cups.

It is estimated that just one in 400 cups are recycled in the UK, which has led some stores to offer discounts for customers using disposable cups.

An example of this is the 50p discount offered by Pret a Manager for customers using their own cups and the store has announced plans to launch its own reusable cup later this year.

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