'Intention of latte levy lost at government level’

The purpose and intention of the ‘Latte Levy’ has been lost over the past 18 months since the EAC took up the issue, according to Smart Planet Technologies.

Will Lorenzi, president, Smart Planet Technologies, said the latte levy’s intention was to improve recycling of paper cups, not to switch the country to reusable cups, and eliminate use of paper cups.

“The War on Waste was about paper cups not being recycled and winding up in landfill, not to stop using paper cups. Of course the government, or anyone, would come to a conclusion that it’s not a good idea and wouldn’t work to make the country switch to reusable, en masse.  Paper cups are here for the foreseeable future and the goal was always to make them more sustainable, which the government will no longer try to help.”

Smart Planet’s reCUP is made with EarthCoating which contains up to 43% less plastic than traditional paper cups, and the California-based technology firm claims its coffee cup is recyclable using conventional paper recycling equipment.

“No one should have issue with disposable packaging if it’s made from sustainable materials i.e. paper, easily recyclable and profitable to recycle.

“Any government regulation should also incentivise and reward innovation that solves problems and makes improvements.  It’s fine to tax the problem but don’t tax the solution.  With reCUP, we’ve developed a paper cup that has less plastic and is universally recyclable.  Had paper cups been designed in this manner from the beginning, paper cups would have always been recyclable instead of being sorted for the landfill, and we never would have had a controversy over paper coffee cups, and there wouldn’t be a discussion of a latte levy. Retailers and consumers should be incentivised and able to opt out of the latte levy by using a paper cup that is already universally recyclable, rather than paying unnecessarily.”

The reCUP technology has been or is due to be rolled out at Taylor St Barista’s roaster coffee shops, Linstol (a US distributor for the airline cabin industry), Lenzing Papier, and Smart Planet said it was in talks with various brands in the USA.