SINGLE-USE coffee cups are set to become subject to a levy of up to 25c under new measures being introduced but the Irish government to clamp down on single-use items.
The proposals were unveiled by environment minister Richard Burton as part of a concerted effort to shift behaviour.
Bruton hopes the levy, which is due to be set somewhere between 10c and 25c, would help curb the number of disposable cups being used in Ireland.
According to figures quoted by Bruton, an estimated 22,000 disposable coffee and tea cups are used every hour in Ireland.
Shops and coffee cups will be asked to display pricing information, including the potential cost of the product should they supply their own cup, the price when using a single-use cup and the cost for anyone opting to sit in.
“Our first response must be to reduce the amount of waste created in the first place,” Bruton said.
“The coffee cup levy should also lead to savings for consumers who make the switch, as well as savings for retailers who have to carry less disposable stock. In introducing a coffee cup levy, clear pricing information will be vital.”
The levy is due to be introduced in 2020 and 2021 as part of an initiative that includes an increase to the current plastic bag levy from 22c up to 25c.
It will expand this tax to medium-weight plastic bags, though ‘bags for life’ will remain exempt.
The scheme will see takeaway food containers targeted as part of a second phase of levies scheduled to take effect from 2022.
A third phase will follow, taking a closer look at supermarket and shop food packaging.