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Levy on disposable coffee cups to be introduced in coming months

The fee could be introduced later this year or early next year.

File photo of a barista and a disposable coffee cup
File photo of a barista and a disposable coffee cup
Image: Shutterstock/Ivan Kurmyshov

A LEVY ON disposable coffee cups is set to be introduced in the coming months, a minister has confirmed.

The necessary legislative basis for the introduction of such a levy will be provided via the Circular Economy Bill 2021.

The General Scheme of the Bill was published in May, and the aim is to seek its enactment as a priority before the end of this year.

Ossian Smyth, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communication, said the goal is to then enforce the levy “as early as possible” next year.

“Precise details regarding scope and rate of the levy on disposable coffee cups will then be set out in related secondary legislation, with the intention of bringing the levy into force as early as possible in 2022,” the Green Party TD stated.

Smyth said disposable cups are single-use items “which represent an almost entirely avoidable waste stream”. He made the comments when responding to a parliamentary question submitted by Labour’s Gerald Nash.

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The junior minister also noted that his department “does not hold any reliable data regarding the current total number of disposable coffee cups used each year, and so cannot provide the requested estimated yield”.

He added that the introduction of this environmental levy is “not primarily intended as a revenue-raising measure, but rather as a means of incentivising increased use of affordable reusable alternatives to disposable coffee cups”.

The PQ was first reported in the Irish Daily Mail today.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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