Fast food drinks face 25p tax

Fast food drinks face 25p tax as government looks to extend the ‘latte levy’ to crack down on plastic cups

  • Fast food chains could face a 25p tax on plastic drinking cups, it was reported
  • Mr Hammond, who is poised to slap tax on plastic coffee cups in next budget
  • Ministers suggested a 25p tax to tackle plastic waste from coffee franchises 

Fast food chains could face a 25p tax on plastic drinking cups as the Treasury looks to extend the ‘latte levy’, according to reports.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who is already poised to slap the tax on plastic coffee cups in his upcoming Budget, is looking to extend it to the drinks containers used by chains like McDonald’s.

The possible move comes after a record 162,000 Britons responded to a Treasury consultation on how to deal with throwaway plastic packaging.

Fast food chains could face a 25p tax on plastic drinking cups as the Treasury looks to extend the ‘latte levy’, according to reports

Earlier this year, Parliament’s cross-party environmental audit committee called for a ‘latte levy’ on disposable coffee cups to help reduce waste and encourage recycling.

Ministers suggested a 25p tax to tackle plastic waste from coffee franchises such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee.

The firms would either have to pass this cost on to customers or use other types of cups.

Around 2.5 billion coffee cups, which are lined with a thin layer of plastic, are thrown away each year and only one in 400 are recycled.

Levies could also be introduced on a number of other single-use items, such as black plastic trays used as packaging for vegetables, as part of the continuing war on plastic pollution.


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And it now seems that Treasury officials might also target the plastic lining of fast food chain cups, the Sun reported.

Concerns have been raised that while customers of coffee chains may be willing to pay the extra cost, many of those who go to fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s and KFC may be unreasonably targeted.

Last night Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs said a tax would be a ‘slap in the face’ for poorer families.

He said: ‘If this tax grab goes ahead it will be another slap in the face for people struggling with the cost of living.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who is already poised to slap the tax on plastic coffee cups in his upcoming Budget, is looking to extend it to the drinks containers used by chains like McDonald’s

‘If the government wants to encourage economic growth it should be cutting taxes, not discriminating against people on the basis of what they eat and drink.’

But industry insiders have been told that ‘nothing is off the table’ in terms of attempts to reduce plastic waste in Mr Hammond’s upcoming Autumn Budget.

A senior Treasury official last month told the Mail that the department would also be trying to use taxes to cut the use of ‘virgin’ plastic so producers used more recycled material.

Currently, only a third of our plastic packaging is being recycled – with the rest heading for landfill or incineration.

The Mail’s Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign has already led to the introduction of a 5p levy on plastic bags, a ban on microbeads and pledges of action on a range of other items like plastic stirrers.

Last month, Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, thanked the Mail for its ‘powerful’ voice on plastic waste, and added: ‘We want to drive systemic change throughout the whole of the supply chain to encourage producers of single-use plastics to take greater responsibility to make the right choices when they make the packaging that ends up on shelves.’ 

Ministers suggested a 25p tax to tackle plastic waste from coffee franchises such as Starbucks and Costa Coffee

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