McMillan welcomes plans to introduce 20p disposable cup charge

Stuart McMillan MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde has welcomed a recommendation from an expert panel that would see a charge of at least 20p introduced on every disposable cup, in a bid to encourage more use of reusable alternatives.

The local SNP MSP has campaigned for consumers to pay extra for using a single-use coffee cup, in a similar way that shoppers pay 5p for a carrier bag, to drive down people’s use of single-use items.

Following the Report of the Expert Panel on Environmental Charging and Other Measures: Recommendations on Single-Use Disposable Beverage Cups, the Scottish Government will now consider the introduction of an additional charge to help cut down on the estimated 200 million single-use coffee cups used every year in Scotland.

Commenting, Stuart said:

“The Scottish Government has announced a climate emergency and is rightly working to reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint. Promoting cultural and behavioural change is a crucial aspect of this – especially given how successful the carrier bag charge has been, reducing usage by 80% in the policy’s first year.

“After my resolution at the SNP’s 2017 annual conference that proposed a charge for single-use cups was passed, I was pleased that the Scottish Government committed in principle to introducing a charge on disposable drinks cups as part of the 2019-20 budget deal. Today’s update shows that this is progressing.

“Disposable cups can’t be recycled and present an obvious littering issue. Some places now offer compostable coffee cups, which is a step in the right direction – but the reality is that we must cut down on our single-use wastage and use reusable alternatives whenever we can.

“I’d like to ask businesses that sell beverages to invest in compostable cups or incentivise their customers to bring their own cups, as this will encourage consumers to turn to more environmentally-friendly alternatives.”

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