A COFFEE cup tax is to be introduced by the Scottish Government to cut down on waste generated from throwaway single use items.

The charge is likely to be around 20p to 25p as recommended by an expert panel this year.

hundreds of millions of disposable cups are thrown away every year in Scotland, creating 4,000 tonnes of waste.

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The government estimates is the number of disposable cups thrown away in Scotland will reach 310million a year by 2025.

Ministers have no said they will bring a Bill to Parliament for a charge similar to the carrier bag levy.

The Circular Economy Bill, if passed, will add an extra 20p or 25p to the cost of a takeaway coffee or tea or any other drink, unless a reusable cup is presented.

Roseanna Cunningham, Environment Secretary, said: “The scale of the challenge is clear, an estimated 4,000 tonnes of waste is generated by single-use cups each year, wasting valuable raw materials and generating unnecessary CO2 emissions in the process.

“For Scotland to become a net zero society, we need a fundamental re-think about how we use and reuse materials and how we handle waste. That is why I am proposing further bold action to tackle Scotland’s reliance on single-use items.”

She said people should decide to switch to re-useable cups and those that are bought should be dealt with more effectively when they are done with.

Ms Cunningham added: “We are taking forward a range of other recommendations made by the panel, to support the cultural and behaviour change that will be required to truly tackle our throwaway culture.”

The expert panel had recommended a minimum charge of 20p would be needed to change behaviour of 49% of the population.

It stated: “Charges are unlikely to substantially affect hot drink sales where they can be implemented in a cost-neutral way.”

The Government can expect support in Holyrood for the plans.

Scottish Liberal Democrat environment spokeswoman Rebecca Bell said: “Scottish Liberal Democrats have been calling for a ‘latte levy’ for some time so this is a step in the right direction.

“We have seen with the plastic bag tax that measures like this are extremely effective at cutting the enormous amount of waste we generate.”

Glasgow Times: