Home Blog Eco Friendly Products Coffee cups to be hit with levy of up to 25 cent under new plastic crackdown plans

Coffee cups to be hit with levy of up to 25 cent under new plastic crackdown plans

SINGLE-USE COFFEE cups could be hit with a levy of 25 cent under new government plans to tackle plastic waste. 

While the exact figure will be determined following market research, it’s likely to be 10c, 15c or 25c. 

In a bid to reduce Ireland’s plastic waste, the government has today announced a number of measures to change consumer and business behaviour. 

While there was some speculation that the ‘latte levy’ idea was due to be scrapped because the threat of such a tax had prompted coffee shops to switch to more sustainable products, the government has today indicated that it is still very much on the cards.

On the introduction of a coffee cup levy, the minister said it “has clear benefits for the environment, when you consider that 22,000 disposable coffee and tea cups are used every hour. Our first response must be to reduce the amount of waste created in the first place”.

“The coffee cup levy should also lead to savings for consumers who make the switch, as well as savings for retailers who have to carry less disposable stock. In introducing a coffee cup levy, clear pricing information will be vital. Clear information regarding price will be important in driving change,” he said.

The minister said shops will have to display pricing information so that their customers have all the information on what they will have to pay. Coffee shops will have to set out the price of coffee alone (this price would be of use to people who have their own Keep Cup).

Additional charges on top of the price of coffee would also have to be displayed, such as the added charge for using a single-use cup (which would include the price of the disposable cup and the levy).

These changes, which will now be put out to public consultation, also include an increase to the existing plastic bag levy from the current rate of 22c to 25c, as well as expanding the plastic bag levy to include medium weight plastic bags.

‘Bag for life’ bags will remain exempt.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1, Bruton described coffee cups as the “most obvious” way to get consumers to cut down on single-use disposables.

 “There’s no doubt that some cups can be, as they say, compostable and that if they made their way into the brown bin waste stream, they could be handled in a different way,” he said.


One of the options for the retailers is to switch to a compostable option. Even though they are a bit more expensive than the regular cups, the difference is only 2 cents, which the consumer or the retailer would be willing to  absorb rather than forking out 25 cents extra every time. This option is also much better for the environment. Compostable cups break down within 120 days from the day of disposal.   


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