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Lib Dems tell the Government to wake up and smell the coffee

Every year in the UK 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away and only 1 in 400 of these recycled. Many of these discarded cups litter our streets, lay as waste in the countryside and even end up floating in the oceans.

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In coalition, the Liberal Democrats with the support of the Conservatives introduced a 5p charge on plastic bags. As a result single-use plastic bag use has fell by more than 85%, from 7 billion to around 500 million.

This has had a positive impact on our natural environment and raised significant funds for charities.

As part of the Circular Economy Package the EU has set a common target for EU countries to recycle 75% of all their packaging waste by 2030.

Catherine Bearder MEP has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment Andrea Leadsom MP urging her to address the problem.

Mrs Bearder commented:

"This level of waste is simply unacceptable, the Government must take action to clean up this mess.

"The success of the 5p plastic bag policy shows how with some incentive we can overcome big environmental problems.

"It is really important the UK does not drop its environmental standards following Brexit. We must work hard to meet the recycling targets set by the EU.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

 

Full text of letter below

 

Dear Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP,

Having recently been appointed as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs you will not doubt be very busy with your ministerial portfolio. However I wanted to take a moment to draw to your attention to a growing environmental problem which urgently needs addressing.

Every year in the UK we throw away 2.5 billion coffee cups and only 1 in 400 of these are actually recycled. Many of these discarded cups litter our streets, lay as waste in our countryside and even end up floating in our oceans.

In coalition, the Liberal Democrats with the support of the Conservatives introduced a 5p charge on plastic bags. As a result single-use plastic bag use has fallen by more than 85%, from 7 billion to around 500 million. This has had a huge impact on our natural environment and raised significant funds for charities.

I urge you to consider introducing a similar policy in our nation’s coffee outlets. Customers should be rewarded for using reusable coffee cups and efforts must be made to make single-use cups recyclable.

The EU has set a common target for EU countries to recycle 75% of all their packaging waste by 2030. The UK must endeavour to meet these targets. When we leave the EU it is very important that Great Britain’s environmental standards do not decline.

I hope you will consider this environmental problem carefully and implement a solution as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Catherine Bearder MEP

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