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Plastic bottles and coffee cups under Westminster scrutiny

MPs are to investigate the impact on the environment of disposable drinks packaging, with an emphasis on plastic bottles and coffee cups.

The Environmental Audit Committee will look at what actions are being taken by industry and the Government to reduce waste generated by such products and investigate possible solutions.

Chair Mary Creagh said: “We all enjoy a takeaway coffee or tea, but the cups they are served in are particularly difficult to recycle because they combine plastic coating and cardboard.

“Our inquiry will be taking a serious look at solutions such as the use of different materials, better recycling and bottle deposit return schemes.”

The committee is asking:

  • What is the environmental impact of waste from coffee cups and plastic bottles?
  • Are the rates of use, collection levels and recycling levels of these products increasing or decreasing?
  • What are the challenges of recycling these products?
  • What obstacles have prevented greater progress in increasing recycling rates?

The MPs will also consider the extent to which consumers are aware of the complexities of recycling such products and how public awareness can be increased.

They also want to understand the actions being taken by industry to reduce waste, their effectiveness and whether the Government can do more.

Questions include:

  • What initiatives could be utilised to reduce coffee cup and plastic bottle waste or to lessen the impact of this waste (specifically in terms of reuse, charges or deposit schemes)?
  • How can we encourage households, businesses, food and drink outlets, and offices to change behaviours or introduce policies to reduce their coffee cup and plastic bottle waste?
  • How are other countries working to reduce coffee cup and plastic bottle waste? What examples of best practice are there that the UK could learn from?

Submissions are sought by 5 April.

Costa coffee machine

Costa coffee machine

Readers' comments (1)

  • You are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    These items are easier to reform than you think.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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