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Beverage Containers: Recycling

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 133247, tabled on 19 March 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to increase recycling rates of disposable coffee cups.

Answered on

26 March 2018

Current packaging policies and regulations have resulted in recycling of packaging rising from around 57.5% in 2006 to 64.7% in 2016, with recycling of paper packaging at 82% in 2016.

Disposable coffee cups, like all forms of packaging, fall under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, which seek to minimise the amount of packaging waste generated and ensure that what is used is recycled. As a result most major coffee retailers have a legal and financial obligation to recover and recycle a proportion of the packaging they place on the market, including disposable coffee cups.

Building on Government encouragement for the recycling schemes being promoted and deployed by coffee retailers, we are considering a wide range of policy options for the Resources & Waste Strategy, including a latte levy as part of the call for evidence launched on 13 March.

The industry is also taking further, voluntary action aimed at significantly increasing paper cup recycling rates by 2020.

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