Hint of "latte levy" has caused a soar in reusable coffee cup sales in UK

12 January 2018

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has hinted to BBC’s Radio 4, that the government are considering a 25p “latte levy” on disposable coffee cups in the UK, which has lead to soaring sales of reusable cups.  

By taxing disposable cups, the government are hoping that people will realise the amount of non-recyclable cups they dispose of on a daily basis. Approximately 2.5 billion paper coffee cups are thrown away in the UK every year, and just one in 400 are recycled. This is due to the difficulty of removing the plastic lining from the cardboard paper cup, meaning the materials cannot be recycled

The “latte levy” will be introduced apart of the Government's 25-year environmental plan, that was discussed in Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on the 11th of January 2018. Since the suggestion of the 25p tax on disposable coffee cups, the sales of reusable coffee cups have soared in the UK. Argos has reported a 537% increase of reusable coffee cups when compared to the same month the previous year, while Lakeland reported a 100% increase each month for the product. Wilko said it sold 78% more in December than November, and John Lewis said the week before Christmas was its biggest ever week for sales of reusable cups. 

These statistics show a positive message to the government, that a large majority of people want to become more involved in helping the environment. When approached on the subject, Michael Gove stated “people were already prepared to pay more in order to help the environment”, which has already proved to be true regarding the success of the 5p charge for plastic bags in 2015. 

“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 a compelling discount for customers with reusable cups.” We have previously discussed in our news section how the BBC documentary Blue Planet II has encouraged people to recycle more to stop pollution. This is a great first step in becoming self-aware of the amount of waste we contribute to landfill and consequently damaging the environment. 

Join the reusable movement and purchase a reusable coffee cup instead of using disposable. You will not only help protect and maintain our natural environment, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint to help future generations. 


We are an experienced team of recycling specialists based in Dorset and Oxfordshire, with expertise in all areas of recycling and waste disposal ranging from cardboard recycling and End of Life Vehicle Collection, to trade waste disposal and metal recycling. For more information about our recycling services, or for further advice on how you can make a difference at home, contact our team on 01202 675564 today.

Branch Finder

Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.

+