A proposed new ‘latte levy’ on disposable coffee cups is expected to be introduced.

The charge, which could be applied in a similar fashion to the plastic bag levy, is expected to be introduced in the near future. It is reported the initial levy will be set at around 10 to 15 cent per cup.There are a number of other schemes currently under review by the Government such as getting stores to put in place incentives for customers who bring their own cup.

Talks have already taken place with major companies, including Insomnia and Supermac’s, according to the Irish Independent. Roscommon Town has already become part of a ‘pilot scheme’ where customers get discounts for using the “Rossie” reusable cup.

Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten said he wants to try to change consumer behaviour through financial incentives, reusable alternatives and better messaging around the environmental impact of coffee cups.

Mr Naughten said “Some of the areas that we will be looking at involve the potential for local authorities becoming part of a nationwide scheme where customers could sign up, for a small fee, in order to return their used reusable cup to participating cafés and bakeries, and get their next coffee served in another reusable cup,”

There are reportedly in the region of two million disposable coffee cups sent to landfills on a daily basis. The plastic bag levy was introduced nearly 15 years ago, at the price of 15c per bag. The use of plastic bags fell from an estimated 328 bags per inhabitant per year to just 21 bags per capita within a single year. A figure which has continued to fall since.