Update on Single Use Cup levies

The Vending & Automated Retail Association (AVA) has offered the following updates from its Environment and Sustainability Committee on single use cup levies across the Home Countries.

Each of the Home Countries are in the process of reviewing the need, or how to implement, a ‘consumer point of purchase’ levy (around 20p-25p) per cup as part of environmental or packaging legislation.

Scotland: Lorna Slater MSP (Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity) has declared the intent to introduce a 20p levy on cups. The Single Use Disposable Cup Levy Implementation Group (SUDCLIG) has held several meetings to discuss implementation of a charge for all ‘single-use’ cups, no matter what they are made of. The AVA has been a part of these meetings and has made a case for exemption for vending – although no decision has been made as yet.

• Timings

• Summer 2023: Introduce bill to enable levies

• Early 2024: Publication of proposed legislation and consultation

• Final regulations introduced 2025

Northern Ireland: DAERA recently held a workshop on a number of issues.  They intend to exclude glass and HDPE from deposit return and are closely following the digital kerbside project in Wales.  They made no reference to progress on their proposal earlier this year to ban certain single use items.  However, there is currently no functioning assembly in Northern Ireland and this situation could continue for some time.

England – Defra has proposed a ‘mandatory cup takeback scheme’ as part of EPR (see below) which “would require businesses selling filled disposable paper cups to provide for the separate collection of used cups (either generated in-store or consumed ‘on-the-go’), through both instore and front of shop collection points, and to arrange for the collection and recycling of these cups.” (full details can be found HERE). Defra also reserved the right to ‘consider’ charges for ‘problematic litter’ i.e. cups, as part of their February consultation.

Ireland – The bill to introduce a 20c cup levy has been passed but there is no information on how the levy will be introduced – as yet.