20c levy to be introduced on disposable coffee cups
Time to invest in a keep cup...
The Government has announced plans to introduce a levy on disposable coffee cups in the coming months.
The plan is part of a new Circular Economy Bill, which hopes to see Ireland become the first country to eliminate the use of disposable cups.
The scheme was set to be introduced by the end of 2021, but was pushed back into this year.
Green Party TD Ossian Smyth spoke about the new levy on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1 on Wednesday (30 March).
"It's very similar to the plastic bag levy," Smyth said.
"People will remember when that came in, and we were using a giant number of plastic bags, and after the levy came in, the reduction was 95% in the use of plastic bags.
"I'm hoping not to collect money from this levy, I'm hoping that there will be such a reduction that in fact most people will switch over.
The cost of the levy on disposable coffee cups will be 20c.
"If we go back to the start of the pandemic, certainly there was not very much knowledge about how the virus was passed on.
"One of the things that happened was that people stopped using Keep Cups.
"But, in fact, the public health advice that I've been given from the public health division is that Keep Cups are fine, are safe, are not a significant risk, and that you can use them," Smyth added.
Nearly half a million disposable coffee cups are currently sent to landfill or incineration every day, amounting to 200 million cups a year.
The Government is planning on introducing a ban over the coming months on the use of disposable coffee cups for sit-in customers in cafés and restaurants, followed by the introduction of a small charge on disposable cups for takeaway coffees that can be avoided completely by using a keep cup.