Coffee cup war hots up


A Mail Online infographic highlighting the scale of coffee cup dumping

MPs have suggested a 25p ‘latte levy’ could help reduce the mountain of up to five billion disposable coffee cups dumped each year, almost none of which are recycled.

The influential cross-party Commons environmental audit committee called for urgent action to tackle the throwaway menace – which some experts claim could raise £438million and lead to a 30 per cent reduction in the number of cups by persuading more people to carry their own.

The committee said the industry should be given five years to make the cups easy to recycle or face an outright ban. It warned that voluntary approaches to combating the issue had failed and that government action was needed to deal with the ‘avoidable problem’.

The tax would fund plants capable of recycling the cups, persuade people to carry reusable cups and encourage the use of traditional ceramic mugs in workplaces, the report said.

Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – whose BBC show Hugh’s War on Waste first drew attention to the paper cup problem – told the Mail Online the report showed the UK had ‘finally woken up and smelled the coffee cup nightmare’.

Numbers of the throwaway cups have hugely increased in recent years. Although looking like paper, they have a polypropylene plastic lining which just three specialist mills in the UK are equipped to deal with.

The vast majority end up in landfill or incineration, with 500,000 a day dropped as litter – prompting the Daily Mail to launch a high-profile Curb the Cups campaign, putting pressure on the coffee giants to do more to encourage recycling.

Stunning images

MICHAEL KING TURVILLETurville, Michael King’s stunning portrait of a red kite featuring in this year’s online exhibition from the Chiltern Society’s Photogroup

The Chiltern Society PhotoGroup’s 2018 online exhibition has just opened, now in its 14th year and featuring nearly 300 photos from Chiltern-based members.

Landscapes are the most popular subjects in the 2018 collection, closely followed by some spectacular flora and fauna. This year’s guest reviewer is Terry Coffey, a judge with the Chiltern Association of Camera Clubs, who particularly liked this wonderful shot of a red kite over smoky Turville by Michael King.

The society will be featuring more submissions from PhotoGroup members on its Twitter, Instagram & Facebook pages. Follow them @chilternsociety.