The Environmental Audit Committee is relaunching its predecessor’s inquiry into disposable coffee cups and plastic bottles.
Fewer than one in 400 of the 2.5 billion single-use paper cups used every year are recycled. The MPs will therefore look at the environmental impact of the waste stream and the obstacles preventing progress. The efforts of the industry-led Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group will be closely scrutinised.
The committee will also look at the role of new charges, taxes, deposits or levies on cups and bottles. Some 57% of plastic bottles are currently recycled.
Last week, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for a nationwide deposit return scheme for plastic bottles. The government will also be forming “an advisory group to consider fiscal and other measures to reduce waste and boost the circular economy – for example, a possible levy on single use coffee cups”.
The packaging industry has long maintained that taxes on cups or deposit return schemes for bottles won’t work. Environmental campaigners beg to differ.