Ireland’s climate action minister, Richard Bruton, said recently that a tax on throwable coffee cups would be made by 2021, a move to change consumer spending habits and reduce the environmental impact of the use of disposable plastic cups, euronews reported.
Mr Bruton is reported to have said reducing disposable items, particularly discarded coffee cups, would help curb the environmental pollution caused by disposable plastic cups. Taxing to get people to change their habits, in his view, is the easiest thing to do.
In 2018, for the third year in a row, Ireland has launched a tax regime to cut environmental impact stakes after exceeding its annual greenhouse gas emissions quota, hoping to boost Dublin’s statutory commitment to the EU by introducing a tax of up to 0.25 euros on disposable plastic coffee cups.
Ireland first introduced a plastic bag tax in 2002, this time to tax disposable coffee cups, to encourage people to reduce the use of disposable discards. The plan also includes a tax increase of 0.25 euros for more expensive medium-sized plastic bags sold over the supermarket counter.
While some businesses have discounted customers who carry green cups, a 2018 government-funded report found that 4.9 million people across Ireland still throw away up to 200 million disposable coffee cups a year.
Bruton’s Climate Action Department said that once a six-week consultation and market survey was completed, the tax on discarded coffee cups could be 0.1, 0.15 or 0.25 euros. In Ireland, a cup of coffee can be as much as 3 euros. Because the retail industry lacks the basic equipment to recycle food packaging, decomposable coffee cups are also taxed, Bruton said.
The Irish authorities will draw up a Phase 2 tax plan from 2022, mainly for packed food containers, and phase 3 will tax food packaging in retail stores, including baked goods and fruit and vegetable packaging.