So we’ve all heard about the latte levy and no doubt read differing views and opinions in the media. At Extract, we decided to get some of our thoughts down on the blog so you could hear what we think. You don’t have to agree, but we wanted to share our stance with you all.
Our Extract branded disposable cups are FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified. The other “disposable items” we supply, such as sugar sachets and cup carriers are made from recyclable materials.
After a great response to our reusable flasks, we looked at reusable options for all our customers moving forward. Our main requirements for these were:
Our theory is, that if it’s not practical and 100% fit for purpose customers are unlikely to make the switch from disposables. A lid that doesn’t spill. A material that doesn’t affect taste, a decent insulator. Small enough to carry around in your bag.
For those that get 1 disposable coffee per day, the latte levy is likely to cost over £90 a year. So investing in a reusable is totally worth it, that said, it needs to be an affordable upfront cost that customers are prepared to invest in.
We want to make sure that our reusable solution is also sustainable. This means looking at the lifespan of products, understanding how they can be disposed of, and thinking carefully about the materials they are made from.
What we came up with
The latest addition to the family are Extract Coffee KeepCups! They are available to buy online now in 8oz and 12oz and we encourage our wholesale partners to consider stocking these as well. After all, they just need to be used a mere 15 times to have saved energy, resources and waste! Not to mention getting you a cheaper drink as most cafes offer a discount for conscientious customers.
The Brew KeepCups are made from toughened soda lime glass – not unbreakable, but surprisingly durable. We think they make for a better vessel than the plastic, don’t taint flavours and look super fly. Even better, at the end of their life the cup, lid and plug can be recycled through your household recycling system. The silicone bands can be commercially recycled. Just check your local council’s website to see how to go about it.
The realities of biodegradable or degradable or compostable or recyclable are complex. Often, where one party benefits another loses. And is the bigger problem CO2 emissions or resource input? The solutions to these problems could be different so it’s not a one fix suits all situation. That said, we’re all in agreement that the issue here is single use and a throw-away culture is the main issue over the material in question.
The UK has not forced investment into the facilities needed to recycle disposable cups. Our two cents is, as a country we do not take any recycling as seriously as we could. From the government down, it could be improved and the cups issue is a tiny part, just 0.7% of packaging, that seems to be a diversion from the real issue. We hope it’s the first step towards well thought out legislation and a sustained effort to make change happen.
Is the levy going to make a difference? We hope so, but on its own, it isn’t a solution. We need better investment and better recycling incentives and facilities provided at a macro level. The government simply passing responsibility down to the consumers with a isn’t the answer.
In the meantime, Extract are going to keep doing the best we can to reuse and recycle.
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