The Irish Government is investigating the possibility of introducing a charge on takeaway coffee cups similar to that imposed on carrier bags in Ireland and across the UK.
The proposed Irish levy would raise the price of a coffee by around 10 to 15 Euro cents (9 to 13 pence), working in a similar way to the plastic bag charge introduced in Ireland in 2002, nine years ahead of Wales and thirteen ahead of England.
Uptake of single-use carrier bags in Ireland fell by a reported 94 per cent within the first year of the charge (around 80 per cent in England), and Naughten has suggested that a charge for coffee cups could produce similar results, encouraging consumers to start using reusable alternatives both to save money and to reduce environmental impact.
This news comes as the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has been discussing solutions to the same problem in the UK. Its inquiry into the problem of disposable drinks packaging has seen the committee talk to industry leaders, local authority figures and members of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).