FPA RESPONDS TO SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSED CIRCULAR ECONOMY BILL, WHICH, AMONGST OTHER INITIATIVES, WILL ENABLE CHARGES TO BE APPLIED TO SINGLE USE COFFEE CUPS.
Executive Director Martin Kersh comments:
“Give the strides that have been made on recycling coffee cups with the capacity available to recycle every coffee cup used in the UK, it seems ironical that the Scottish Government seeks a charge on coffee cups in the name of the circular economy. In the meetings we have attended in Scotland the proposal for a charge has been made on the basis of litter reduction. The fibres recovered from cups are wanted and so surely Scottish Government should work with our industry to encourage the public to return their used coffee cups to participating retailers and indeed encourage all retailers to participate, while taking measures to discourage those who litter from doing so. It would seem the Government has given up on changing the behaviour of those who litter, which is quite a kick in the stomach for the hard work done by anti-litter charities such as Keep Scotland Beautiful, who surely deserved more support from Scottish Government for their Glasgow cup campaign. We note cups still remain on the list of items that could be subject to a deposit return system, albeit lower down the order. We trust the intention of the Scottish Government is not to impose a charge and a deposit. We also question whether the First Minister has given consideration as to how the charge will work for coffee purchased from vending machines particularly in closed environments where a the charge could quite easily be equal to the cost of the coffee so doubling the price.
“In the end it is those members of the pubic and the smaller, independent retailers who suffer from a charge, and with that high streets. We urge the First Minister to hear first-hand the excellent progress that has been made with regard to paper cup recycling and not to use paper cups as the poster boy for packaging. In addressing climate change surely the priority is, as indicated 1st ministers announcement, to deal with the items that make the biggest contribution, of which paper cups is not one.”