Catering disposables firm weighs in on ‘latte levy’ and calls for alternative solution

A flattened disposable coffee cup sits on a road in central London on January 5, 2018. 
British lawmakers called on the government today to impose a charge on disposable coffee cups and set a target to recycle all of them by 2023 -- or ban them altogether. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL        (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Biopac, the UK developer and supplier of environmentally-friendly packaging and catering disposables, has blasted proposals for a ‘latte levy’, insisting it is “not an effective way forward”.

Earlier this week industry body ALMR warned that a ‘latte levy’ would increase costs for operators and undermine investment without a guarantee of successfully addressing waste.

It has called on the government to avoid the introduction of such a measure and instead look to promote other schemes to address waste.

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Biopac appears to be in firm agreement. “We would like to reiterate our stance that taxing the use of these items is not an effective way forward, and merely patches over the underlying issues with waste management and infrastructure in the UK,” the company stated.

“Regarding the “Latte Levy” we support the latest statement issued by the Food Packaging Association (FPA). The industry has highlighted this issue and is willing to provide funding for cup recycling. As this is the case, why charge the consumer?”

Although the business said it was pleased that the high amount of press around single use disposables and recycling in the UK had drawn attention to the issue, it claimed to be “saddened” by the current lack of conversation on compostable products.

“Compostables provide a market ready solution across the catering disposable market, yet the focus remains on oil-based plastics and recycling,” it commented. “A compostable range eliminates the need for sorting and filtering of waste. Standard collection bins could be issued for all food waste and compostable packaging to be disposed of together – reducing costs and also providing a streamlined waste collection service.”

The company added that it hoped recent developments would prove to be the start of the major overhaul to the waste infrastructure that is “so desperately needed in the UK”.

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