Retailers Join Opposition to 'Latte Levy'

Retail Ireland has joined in the opposition to the proposed levy on disposable coffee cups, saying that it  "does not make sense".

“It is good to see the Government place a real emphasis on sustainable measures, but the coffee cup levy does not make sense," said Managing Director Duncan Graham.

"It wants consumers to use reusable coffee cups, but these are generally made from plastic which is clearly harmful to the environment. Single-use cups, meanwhile, are compostable and will degrade naturally.

"The cost of living is soaring, and retailers and consumers cannot afford a further levy on goods. A transition to using multiple-use items such as cups and bowls will require restaurants and shops to install new washing and drying systems. Danish consultancy group Ramboll have concluded that switching to hard plastic ‘keep cups’ would result in the use of 3.6 times more water and 2.8 times more carbon compared to usage for compostable paper cups."

A new retail sustainability initiative, Sustainable Irish Retail Action (SIRA), is to be launched in conjunction with Retail Excellence and Champion Green. It will seek to support Irish businesses to take practical steps in becoming more sustainable.

A survey conducted by SIRA in February and March among 232 retailers around Ireland suggests the worsening effects of climate change pose a "giant risk" to businesses. Three-quarters of retailers are concerned about the effects of climate change on their business, while 80 per cent believe it is important for their business to be seen as sustainable. Three-quarters believe they will need to offer more sustainable products and services in the future, while 57 per cent believe it’s primarily the Government’s responsibility to tackle climate change and promote sustainability.