Charities Aid Foundation is calling on the government to consider applying some of the proceeds of the proposed latte levy to support charities with experience of recycling, environmental protection and consumer advice.
According to CAF, the levy has the potential to build on the success of the plastic bag levy and raise major sums for good causes. A report published last week by the Environmental Audit Committee stated that 2.5bn takeaway coffee cups are thrown away each year in the UK, with MPs calling for a 25p levy on the price of a takeaway coffee to reduce the number of cups thrown away. This would be followed by the introduction of a ban on throwaway coffee cups if a target that all takeaway cups are recyclable by 2023 is not met.
MPs on the committee have suggested that the levy could lead to a 30% reduction in the use of disposable cups and generate £438 million in revenue, which could be used to fund better recycling facilities. However, CAF is arguing that the impact of the scheme could be increased by applying some of the proceeds to support charities with experience of recycling, environmental protection and consumer advice, harnessing their expertise in recycling and their work changing consumer behaviour.
CAF has also estimated that a proposed levy on single-use plastic items could generate at least £1.75 million a day for good causes, if levels of use did not change, based on figures by WRAP, that more than 35 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK.
Even if the number of plastic bottles used every day fell by 85%, similar to the reduction in use of plastic bags, CAF has estimated that this could still generate more than quarter of a million pounds a day (£262,000) for good causes.
Sir John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“The reaction to the idea of 25p added to the price of your takeaway coffee shows that people support levies and consumer charges that are used in a positive way. Ministers should look not only to develop better recycling facilities but also harness the excellent charities working for the public good, particularly in areas like the environment, recycling and consumer advice to achieve the greatest impact from any levy.
“Combined with a general levy on all single-use plastic items, suggested by CAF last year, these levies can bring about positive behaviour change and generate millions of pounds to change our communities for the better.”
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