coffee cup tax

Saving the planet, one coffee cup at a time

Snakeskin boots, old Topshop (similar)

There are several things any good Instagrammer knows make for good Insta porn: A flat-lay of your brunch, candy coloured buildings, anything with Chanel in and close-ups of you clutching your Starbucks cup. How very basic of us, right?

Hashtag GUILTY. Of all of the above.

But while a quick snap of some colourful floor tiles won’t break the planet, turns out my take-away coffee consumption probably will.

Despite the recycling symbol on most take-out cups, the plastic lining inside them is “virtually impossible” to recycle, so of the seven million cups that are used every day, 99% will end up in landfill.

Which is why environment minster Rory Stewart suggested a tax on coffee cups could be issued to tackle the growing recycling problem.

It’s a huge problem and there are tens of millions of these things being produced and thrown away… many of these things cannot be recycled either by the way they’re disposed or because of the composition of the cup. Having tackled plastic bags, coffee cups seem to be a very good thing to look at next.

While this proposal has since been ruled out by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it has certainly got me thinking before drinking.

I’ve always been a bit adverse to those reusable cups, especially ones carried by particulalrly smug commuters slurping their brew on a packed train of a morning.

The cups made out of rubber also make me want to vom a bit, and make me feel like an oversized-toddler drinking from a beaker in shouty primary colours.

And well… they just don’t make for great Instagram fodder, do they? SORRY BOUT IT.

But with paper coffee cups making the news again this week, I’ve realised I’ve got to get a grip. And a KeepCup.

As someone who averages out about one small soya latte a day, that’s nearly 400 cups a year, and the latest stats reveal that only ONE of those is recyclable. Ugh.

So I’m going to give it a go. It’s not going to be easy for me, mainly because it involves being less spontaneous about my coffee breaks and making sure I have my reusable cup with me. Plus, HELLO extra washing up.

One little bonus, though, is that many places offer a discount on drinks made in your own mug. Which sounds dreamy as, based on my maths above, I spend nearly £800 a year on coffee!!! *insert scream face emoji* And not only that, I’m destroying the planet while doing it (not to mention supporting a brand that swerves paying corporate tax). NICE ONE NAT.

Another alternative is to simply not have coffee ‘to go’. In fact, when did this actually become A Thing? I mean, can you imagine Friends if the gang all got take-out from Central Perk instead of hangs on the sofa?!

It’s like we all walk around, proud of how busy we are, clutching our giant take-out cups like a badge of honour, racing to our next appointment.

When did coffee shops stop being places where you could sit down and enjoy your (bloody expensive) blend? Surely it’s much for mindful to take the time to enjoy your coffee, in the moment? < making sure it isn’t Yummy Mummy o’clock, with a screaming Tarquin ruining your Zen, that is.

So yeah. I’m going to give it a go – are you?

  • Comments

  • avatar
    Green Goddess

    This is SUCH an important issue. I just don’t think people realise how awful those plastic cups are and I get so angry seeing them plastered all over Instagram!!

    • avatar
      Natalie Wall

      I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t at all clued up on it until it hit the news. And, while I love a latte, I don’t feel comfortable killing the planet so am trying to make a few positive changes…

  • avatar

    I think I’ve just found my new favourite blog! <3 Pleeeease will you post more on your vintage outfits and charity shop finds? xxx

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