We use 22,000 disposable cups an hour in Ireland.
Now coffee drinkers who do not bring their own reusable ‘keep cup’ to the counter will be hit with a levy of up to 25c on disposable coffee cups, according to new measures announced by environment minister Richard Bruton.
Unveiling the plan to reduce single-use plastics, the minister said it: “Our first response must be to reduce the amount of waste created in the first place”.
“The coffee cup levy should also lead to savings for consumers who make the switch, as well as savings for retailers who have to carry less disposable stock. In introducing a coffee cup levy, clear pricing information will be vital. Clear information regarding price will be important in driving change,” he said.
The potential levy on disposable cups and an increase in the plastic bag levy (from 22c to 25c) will now be put out to public consultation.
65% of us ‘never’ use a reusable cup
In September a survey revealed that despite recent environmental campaigns and café-based incentives, the vast majority of coffee drinkers still rely on disposable takeaway cups.
According to research by DID Electrical, 65% of respondents in Ireland say they never use a reusable cup for takeaway coffees, and 16% only use one “sometimes”.
There’s good news regarding the next generation however; the survey revealed there is a greater tendency towards using a reusable cup among the younger demographic.
An impressive 40% of 18-44-year olds report using a reusable container, but that number drops to 28% for 44-55-year olds and drops again to 21% for over 55-year olds.