Sales of reusable coffee cups are soaring in the UK, retailers are reporting, as the government hints at a tax on disposable cups.
Argos, which is part of the Sainsbury’s Group, said it had sold 537% more portable cups in December 2017 than the same month the previous year. Meanwhile, kitchenware chain Lakeland reported an increase in sales of more than 100% month-on-month, homeware company Robert Dyas reported a 50% lift year-on-year.
John Lewis said the week before Christmas was its biggest ever week for sales of travel cups, and Wilko said it sold 78% more in December than November.
Last week MPs on the environmental audit committee called for a 25p “latte levy” to be charged on top of the price of a hot drink, amid growing worries about the overuse and waste of 2.5bn disposable coffee cups every year. Meanwhile, in the government’s 25-year environment plan released on Thursday, the prime minister, Theresa May, announced a call for evidence into charges for single-use items.
Disposable cups cannot be recycled by normal systems because they are made from cardboard with a tightly bonded polyethylene liner, which is difficult to remove. As a result, just one in 400 cups are recycled – less than 0.25%. Half a million coffee cups are littered each day in the UK, the report said.
“We saw a huge growth in the sales of travel mugs over the Christmas period,” said Dawn Ritchie, kitchen buying manager at Argos. “This was partly spurred on by the popularity of shows such as Blue Planet II, as well as some of the UK’s biggest coffee chains offering compelling discounts for customers with reusable cups. With the recently proposed ‘latte levy’, we expect this trend to only grow as awareness of disposable cup waste increases.”
Read the full article on The Guardian website.