When MPs announced in January that they were introducing a new latte levy, you may remember that our reaction was one of utter dismay. See our blog post of 5 January – Disposable Coffee Cups | The Full Picture.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that adding 5p to the price of a cup of coffee is not going to eradicate the disposable coffee cup issue, not when you are asking people to change their behaviour in such a drastic way.
Obviously they sited the plastic carrier bag tax which has received phenomenal results, but human psychology is a complex thing, and your expectations in a quick dash coffee shop, are completely different to those in a supermarket.
So it was with no surprise at all that we read this article on the BBC News last night declaring that surprisingly enough, 99.75% of coffee cups are still not being recycled, despite extensive media coverage and calls for changes in behaviour over the last 4 months.
The article provides lots of examples of how different retailers have paid ‘lip service’ to the issue but failed to take any actual effective action. And it basically just shows what a totally ridiculous idea the latte levy was in the first place.
The truth is that you simply cannot change the behaviour of a nation overnight, and I believe you will never change the ‘swift gratification’ mentality of so many people leading an increasingly hectic modern lifestyle.
Of course, there will be people that will rejoice in carrying a trendy bamboo re-usable cup in their hand bags – and I am one of those – but they will never be the majority, and they will never be the norm, mainly for practical reasons.
So the answer has to lie in improving recycling facilities and access, and that has to be down to the coffee retailers!
Step up Costa Coffee – the first retailer it would seem to actually show some real understanding and desire to solve the problem, and the first to lay out some tangible, if quite long term targets! They are also showing real forethought in setting themselves a mission that doesn’t just apply to their own product.
We don’t want to say we told you so, but we do want to say well done Costa Coffee – we are glad it was you, because it’s your coffee shops that we like the best!
What do you think? Will you #carryyourown or will you avail yourself of a Costa recycling facility? Would a reduction in price make a difference to you?