FIRST AIRED: January 5, 2018

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00:00:01
>> Some British lawmakers say it's time to tax this, not the coffee itself but the paper cup it comes in. Parliamentary committee has called for a new levy to help cut down on waste. Because even though you can put them in the recycling bin, what happens to these cups afterwards is definitely not eco-friendly.
00:00:22
Reuters Costas Pitas in London.>> So most of these cups are technically recyclable. But in reality, 2.5 billion of them are used every year in the UK, and less than 1% of them are actually recycled. There's a few reasons for that. Firstly, they have a plastic liner which makes it a lot more difficult to recycle them.
00:00:42
It's also more difficult cuz they're contaminated by drink in this case. But also because the UK doesn't have enough of these facilities that are able to recycle it.>> The few cups that do get recycled end up in facilities like these. And some big chains, like Costa Coffee, say the government needs to focus on improving that infrastructure.
00:01:03
The committee wants to charge 25 pence per coffee or about 34 cents, with the money to be spent on the facilities. We also hope it will replicate a recent success story.>> In October 2015, the UK Government introduced a 5p charge on plastic bags, similar to measures that were introduced by a number of US states.
00:01:25
It reduced the consumption by 83% in the year afterwards. And it's that model that the committee thinks we should follow with this paper cup levey.>> Parliament's discussed this problem before and there is no planned legislation. But there are other possible solutions. One British company called Frugalpac says it's invented a cup that's recyclable like normal paper.
00:01:47
The company told Reuters they're in preliminary talks with a major chain over a deal.