Do you love the Latte Levy? Could you learn to? Do we?

The possibility of the levy is a challenge.  Naturally we support anything that reduces unnecessary waste.  After all we are in the business of supplying packaging that could become a resource once used.  To say it another way, we are part of the “green economy” that, as we see it, aims to reduce or reuse resources as efficiently as possible, and something that furthers that mission gets our support – even if it means radical change.

We’ve had a flood of requests for information and for our position on the levy.


So here’s what we know from the Government:

  • The Latte Levy isn’t a Daily Mail idiom.  It’s a term coined in the source of the ruckus, the second Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee report on Disposable Packaging[i].
  • The Government wants to have fully recyclable disposable cups by 2023 or, failing that, a ban.
  • The Government wants to incentivise production of sustainable cups.
  • At present the Latte Levy is purely a recommendation, it’s not yet law.
  • The levy would fund recycling facilities and what the report terms “the binfrastructure” in the UK. i.e. to have enough appropriate litter bins to dispose of cups and other on-the-go packaging.
  • And, if introduced and implemented per the recommendation, the levy should reduce year on year as the binfrastructure improves which is great news.


And in other relevant news:

  • Setting an example, on 12 December Bristol Council voted to introduce a 5p tax on cups sold in Council buildings[ii].
  • London’s Mayor has formally stated intent to improve recycling and look at single use plastic but has not commented on the levy[iii].
  • As a trial, Starbucks plans to charge 5p per paper cup in selected stores for three months starting February 2018[iv].
  • Our Government has just released a 25 year Environmental Plan in 300 plus pages of report and comment.  That plan promises to look at single use plastic but is not yet law[v].


So here’s what we think:

(Psst.. for the record, just like you we are still learning as all of this pans out)

  • If this tax is going to happen, let’s hold the Government to account and make sure it does pay for sorting out waste from the on-the-go food industry.
  • Wouldn’t it be great if the binfrastructure included food waste bins that could take compostable packaging too?
  • The tax would probably be announced in the autumn budget, so we have 9 months to explain what would work for us.
  • The levy, along with China’s ban on importing used plastic for recycling and the Government’s proposed environmental strategy, likely spells disruption this year[vi].
  • We’ll remain agile and alive to the change and we will continue to offer the most sustainable products we can.


Regardless of whether the Latte Levy becomes mandatory we say keep doing the good work you’re doing.  By using our products you are taking big steps towards reducing waste through our two ranges: Revive, recyclable products made with recycled content, and Sustain, renewable products that can be commercially composted.  Our products are designed to reduce waste, designed so that once used they can become a resource.


We know there’s work to be done for a perfect solution for managing the UK’s waste.  So, we at London Bio Packaging are heartened that these conversations are happening and that momentum is growing for more sustainable disposables.


We think we can learn to love the latte levy and all it represents: After all we live in a climate of hope.



[i] The House of Common’s Environmental Audit Committee met on 19 December 2017 and compiled formal minutes and a report titled,  “Disposable Packaging: Coffee Cups Second Report of Session 2017–19” which was published 5 January 2018 ref HC 657 by authority of the House of Commons.


[ii] Minutes of Bristol City Council meeting 12 December 2017 at 2.00 pm.


[iii] Draft London Environment Strategy.




[v]  “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment”  found here and digestible facts here


[vi]  and