Government rejects the ‘latte levy’

Mar 9, 2018

Enventure Research has worked on countless projects regarding waste and recycling; from doorstepping campaigns and participation monitoring, to focus groups and in-depth interviews testing communications and new schemes. Residents always have something to say about their local recycling service, however, in recent years we have noticed an increase in residents wishing for retailers to take more responsibility for recycling in terms of the packaging they use.


As the current recycling rate (2016) has recently been reported by Defra to be standing at 45.2%, it is clear that more needs to be done to increase the country’s recycling rate.


At the beginning of this year, a report produced by the Environmental Audit Committee urged coffee shops to introduce a ‘latte levy’ of 25p to be paid on disposable cups, and even suggested a total ban unless recycling improves. This comes after the success of the 5p plastic bag charge in supermarkets, which has prompted MPs to conclude that “consumers respond more to sticks than to carrots” (according to a BBC article).


However, the Government has since rejected the notion of a ‘latte levy’. Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee said: “Our report recommended practical solutions to the disposable packaging crisis. The Government’s response shows that despite warm words they plan no real action.”


The latte levy was in line with what residents have suggested in recent projects managed and delivered by Enventure Research. By putting the onus on the retailer as well as the consumer, this ensures that a combined effort is made to reduce waste and increase recycling rather than the pressure solely being on the consumer to recycle at home.


Hopefully the Government will reconsider this rejection of the latte levy, or perhaps provide another solution as part of ensuring that we reach our recycling rate target of 50% by 2020.