Last week, Boston Tea Party became the first major coffee chain to stop offering customers the choice of a disposable coffee cup, instead selling reusable coffee cups at a subsidised price. Similarly, the Scottish government have moved to ban single use coffee cups in all its government buildings – instead adopting the revolutionary idea of serving drink in porcelain mugs, which will save an excepted 450,000 cups from landfill each year.
Both cases show that single use coffee cups are no longer required in our daily lives. For too long the convenience of single use plastics has resulted in the environmental consequences being overlooked. At a time when the environmental consequences associated with single use plastics are clearer than ever, it is vital that our own government leads the way when it comes to tackling plastic waste.
Nationally, The Liberal Democrats are calling for a latte levy, like the plastic bag charge, which will reduce disposable coffee cup use across the country. However, locally, we’re calling on Birmingham City council to take the lead against plastic waste and ban the use of disposable coffee cups, across all its departments. Additionally, we call on the council to support the EU’s vision to reduce single-use plastics as far as possible and ensure any single-use plastics are easily recyclable by 2030.