The Latte Levy

The behavioral economics that explain why we need a tax on disposable coffee cups

Since the start of the century, the number of coffee shops has risen four-fold in the UK, takeaway coffees have become more and more readily available in supermarkets and gas stations, and now an estimated 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year. While these cups are technically recyclable, just 0.25% are actually recycled. For the most part, this isn’t because Brits are malicious litterers. It’s because there’s confusion about how to recycle coffee cups. They have a plastic lining to seal the inside of the cups so they can hold liquid, which means the cups have to be sent to special facilities where the plastic and paper can be separated. But there are only three of these facilities in the UK. ….[READ]