Dismay at government inaction on plastic

9 March 2018

Green Party councillors in Norwich have reacted with dismay to the Government’s failure to back a proposed 25p ‘latte levy’ on throwaway coffee cups and have condemned them for letting down future generations. 

Government ministers rejected the Environmental Audit Committee’s recommendations to introduce the 25p charge and to consider a total ban by 2023.

Last year an estimated 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups were used in the UK, with only a small fraction being recycled. [1]

In 2016, Norwich City Councillors unanimously supported a Green Party motion on phasing out single-use plastics, which include disposable coffee cups.

Green Party Councillor Martin Schmierer, who proposed the motion, said: “I am dismayed that the government has buried its head in the sand on this issue. The dangers of plastic pollution in our seas, in our waterways and in our countryside are well documented and yet the government seems to be stalling in taking action on this issue.

“The introduction of the plastic bag surcharge saw use decline drastically and provided a lot of small community organisations with much needed financial resources. It is a disgrace that the government has not supported the idea of a ‘latte levy’ of 25p”.

The introduction of a 5p surcharge for plastic bags in supermarkets saw their use fall by 85%. [2]

Green Party councillor Lesley Grahame added: “The Government has let us down again. They have made no progress on introducing a deposit scheme for plastic bottles, and now they are refusing to take action on plastic coffee cups. It’s not acceptable to leave it to our children and grandchildren to live with our mess or pay the price of the polluters’ refusal to clean this up now.”

Over the last year the Green Party has organised a number of events in Norwich to highlight the amount of plastic waste produced by households in the city as part of their ongoing campaign to phase out the use of single-use plastics.



[1] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/05/mps-25p-charge-takeaway-coffee-cups-possible-ban-environmental-audit-committee-report

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/30/england-plastic-bag-usage-drops-85-per-cent-since-5p-charged-introduced

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