The government plans to introduce a 20 cent levy on disposable cups to reduce the amount of waste generated by the sale of hot drinks.
The 20c fee will be charged for every drink sold under the new Circular Economy Act.
Passed by the Cabinet, the bill aims to minimize waste and keep products in use for as long as possible through design, repair and reuse.
An estimated 200 million cups are discarded across the country each year and the levy is seen as the first step in making Ireland the first country in the world to phase out the use of single-use cups.
Minister of State for the Circular Economy, Ossain Smyth, said the government would need to get approval from the European Union before the so-called “latte levy” could be introduced, but he expected the fees to be collected by the end of the year.
“So there will be plenty of time over the summer to get used to using a storage cup,” he told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland Program.
“This is very similar to the plastic bag levy. So people will remember when we used a huge amount of plastic bags when that came and after the levy came the reduction in plastic bag use was 95 percent.
“I hope I don’t collect any money from this levy. I hope there will be such a reduction that most people will actually switch.”
Secretary Smyth admitted the use of reusable cups has been damaged by the pandemic, but he said public health experts had reassured him using storage cups was safe as Covid-19 is primarily an airborne virus.
The Circular Economy Act also paves the way for the long-awaited use of video surveillance to track illegal dumpers.
“Now a local authority will have the power to set up video surveillance in a specific place for a specific purpose – it will be very limited because I don’t want it to become mass surveillance,” Minister Smyth said.
“So you’re allowed to collect information, like a car number plate, from someone who’s either shooting for profit, which is what people are doing, or just throwing rubbish, and you can send them a fine.
“There are litter leaks, we can’t eliminate them 100 per cent and at the moment, even in places where we know that litter is regularly dumped, it’s very difficult to use CCTV as evidence. So, I think that’s absolutely necessary.”
The bill also targets the use of other single-use products and will require businesses to separate their waste for the first time.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/20c-latte-levy-on-disposable-coffee-cups-in-bid-to-cut-waste-by-end-of-the-year-41502629.html 20 cent ‘latte fee’ on disposable coffee cups to reduce waste by the end of the year