Local Lib Dems respond to disposable coffee cup report

Cllr Adele Morris, LGA Lib Dem Group Environment Spokesperson, has welcomed a report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, which supports the Lib Dem call for the Government to introduce a 25p levy on disposable coffee cups and a target to ensure they are all recycled by 2023.

Cllr Adele Morris said:

“Progress in improving recycling rates is frequently undermined by the scourge of disposable coffee cups, which have become a huge problem.

“Many coffee cups are made of paper coated with a plastic layer which can contaminate other materials put out for recycling. This creates an extra cost for councils and can reduce recycling.

“We welcome the move by some coffee shops to offer cash incentives to people who bring their own cups, but this needs to go further. To encourage this step, the Liberal Democrats are calling for the introduction of a charge on disposable coffee cups, following the success of the party’s plastic bag charge which has reduced usage in England by 85% since it was introduced.”


  • The Liberal Democrats launched a campaign calling for the introduction of a charge on disposable coffee cups in September 2016 (link).
  • The Liberal Democrats were the only party to call for the introduction of a coffee cup charge in their 2017 manifesto (link, p.53).
  • Recent Liberal Democrat research revealed that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has purchased 2.5 million cups in the past five years, equivalent to 1,400 a day (link).

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