Making Waves Podcast | Can a ‘Latte Levy’ Solve our Coffee Cup Waste Problem?

Making Waves is a podcast about action, awareness and the Irish coast. It’s hosted by Daniel Farrell and Ann Robinson, two average citizens trying to work out what it all means. New episode every Saturday.

Can a ‘Latte Levy’ Solve our Coffee Cup Waste Problem?

Millions of disposable cups are thrown away everyday in Ireland.  The government is floating the idea of a 15 cent tax on these non-recyclable cups in an effort to halt this flood of waste. Will it work?

Reusable cups Will a 15 cent tax encourage their usage?

The details of the latte levy are still sketchy but what we know is a 15 cent levy on the use of non-recyclable cup is being proposed.

Some people will find the price increase prohibitive and, along with others now alerted to the issue thanks to the national conversation, will move to reusable cups. The money collected could be used to further encourage environmentally-sound alternatives, or put to use combatting the waste that will continue to flow from coffee shops and comfortable with the price hike.

But many won’t. Already prices can vary between coffee shops by up to a euro and shops could swallow the cost themselves. 15 cent is a small price for convenience.



Ending Coffee Cup Waste

There’s still a lot of unknowns about how it would work and one thing is clear, a small levy can’t be a perfect solution.

It could be a huge success like the plastic bag tax which saw usage drop by 90% in a single year, or it may not make a huge difference akin to a small price rise in a packet of cigarettes which evidence shows does little to dampen a smokers enthusiasm.

But if the government proposed the latte levy as a first step toward the complete elimination of non recyclable cups from use in Ireland, with a target date set in stone, the latte levy could be an important first step.

Listen to the podcast for more on the latte levy and effort to reduce waste.


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About the Author

Daniel Farrell

Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: Daniel@coastmonkey.ie // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews