It has also said that the government should set a target that all disposable coffee cups should be recycled by 2023, and if not achieved, the government should ban disposable coffee cups.
The report, titled Disposable Packaging: Coffee Cups, comes following a disposable packaging inquiry.
Environmental Audit Committee chair Mary Creagh MP said: "The UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year; enough to circle the planet five and a half times. Almost none are recycled and half a million a day are littered. Coffee cup producers and distributors have not taken action to rectify this and government has sat on its hands.
"The UK’s coffee shop market is expanding rapidly, so we need to kick start a revolution in recycling. We’re calling for action to reduce the number of single use cups, promote reusable cups over disposable cups and to recycle all coffee cups by 2023."
In relation to coffee cup producers, the Committee is calling on the government to adopt a producer responsibility compliance fee structure that rewards design for recyclability and raises charges on packaging that is difficult to recycle.
The Committee said that the plastic liner in coffee cups makes them costly to recycle, but businesses supplying and producing them don’t bear the full environmental costs of their disposal.
Creagh said: “Taxpayers are footing the bill for disposing of the billions of coffee cups thrown away each year, whether or not they are coffee drinkers. It is only right that producers should bear more of the financial burden to help recycle their packaging, so my Committee is calling for producer responsibility reform that rewards businesses that use sustainable packaging - and makes those that don’t face higher charges.”
Additional calls by the Committee include introducing a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups, and using the money raised to improve the UK’s recycling ‘binfrastructure’ and reprocessing facilities, and improving labelling to educate consumers about how best to dispose of their cup.
In mid-December, the Committee also made a number of calls to government on plastic bottles.
IMAGE CREDIT: Alvimann on Morguefile.com
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