Sheffield students to be charged extra for disposable coffee cups

A 20p levy on single-use drinks cups is being trialled at a Yorkshire university to spark greater take-up of reusable cups.

Students at Sheffield University will pay a 20p levy for a coffee served on campus in a disposable cup next week in a new trial. Picture by PA.

Sheffield University will introduce the charge next week to stimulate changing behaviour among students and staff.

All the money raised by the levy will be donated to Surfers Against Sewage, which helps clean up the UK’s oceans and beaches.

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Mel Kee, development officer at Sheffield Students’ Union, who has worked with the university to devise the trial as part of the institution’s first sustainability strategy, said: “As a society we need to move away from our current throwaway culture and coffee is a great example of this.

“The levy is about making staff and students aware of the impact of their everyday practices, and pushing towards use of reusables over single-use.”

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Just one per cent of the 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups used annually in the UK are recycled.

Sheffield University alone sells almost one million hot drinks a year and has examined how all aspects of its cups of coffee can be made more sustainable.

The university’s coffee comes from local firm Roastology which has a direct trade deal with a co-operative in Colombia and all its milk is from Sheffield dairy farm, Our Cow Molly.