A cup of coffee

To recycle or to ban? That is the question

The coffee cup crusade continues

The Coffee Cup Crusade is well underway, but some people are still non-believers of the ban – they think recycling should do the trick.

What it means: The Scottish government banned single use cups in its main buildings last week, and the Welsh government will do the same by 2021.

Parliament as a latte levy on cups, and places like Starbucks have started charging 5p per cup, leading to a 150% increase in the number of people bringing reusable cups instead.

But one Scottish manufacturer, who also happens to be a spokesperson for the Paper Cup Alliance, says all these bans are unnecessary: we should simply get better at recycling UK-produced paper cups.

The issue with coffee cups is they've got a plastic lining underneath the paper which makes them tough to recycle. There are five facilities nationwide that can do it, and create jobs all the while – it's just about getting the many, many, hundreds of thousands of cups to those facilities every day.

It's all part of a bigger conversation happening across the EU about recycling vs banning: they've just put forward a proposal to ban all single use cutlery, cotton buds, and straws across much of the continent, promising it'll save around £188bn in the next 12 years.

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