Ireland

Irish Choose Tax Over Ban

Irish landscape.jpg

Following other states initiatives to curb the number of disposable cups clogging up landfill, Ireland is considering a coffee cup tax. The “Latte Levy” being proposed will mean a 10-15c charge for the use of disposable single use cups.

The taxation will ultimately raise interest in glass reusable coffee cups which have been hugely successful alternatives in other jurisdictions.

Target Reusable Coffee Cups

The Republic of Ireland’s decision to tax cups is no surprise. Government agencies wanting to promote a culture of reusable BYO cups will take note of its country’s policy on plastic bags.

In 2002, Ireland became the first country to enforce a plastic bag tax. The 15c fee had dramatic effects on the Emerald Isle’s consumption of plastics. The use of plastic bags fell by 94%. Local parks and rivers were noticeably cleaner within months. Public opinion changed comprehensively to support the eradication of unnecessary plastic bags.

Unfortunately the net benefit was diminished by other factors. Although the use of plastic dramatically fell, the use of paper disposable bags skyrocketed. Paper bags require more energy to produce than plastic bags. It will be important the Irish government do not allow for unsustainable replacements in relation to coffee cups.

The Irish experiment would be far more environmentally sound if it fosters a movement to reusable, sustainable products. Along with the health benefits of utilising BPA free glass in our everyday lives, people will be doing their bit for the environment.

Smuggy - Glass Reusable Coffee Cups