A new tax has been proposed by Germany’s green lobby group, Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German environmental relief), and it is targeting cafes and backeries that contribute to the 2.8 billion disposable cups being thrown away in the country each year.
The group has launched a campaign in Berlin, with the support of the city’s sanitation department, that pushes for a 20-euro cent ($0.22) tax on all coffee served in a non-reusable cup. A large enough tax that the group hopes would lead a majority of the city’s coffee drinkers to bring their own cups.
Deutsche Umwelthilfe claims that each disposable cup is only used for an average of 15 minutes and ends up in regular landfills most of the time instead of being properly recycled.
Germany’s Coffee Federation was quick to speak out against the proposed tax though, claiming that the group is not considering sanitary conditions for consumers. They claim that a more steady use of multi-use mugs would create a buildup of germs near the coffee stations, leading to a potential hygiene issue.