Debate stirs in B.C. over disposable coffee cups
Published Sunday, September 14, 2008 5:56PM PDT
Vancouver is arguably the coffee capital of Canada -- but another Canadian city is leading the way on dealing with the byproduct of the brew: the coffee cup.
Toronto is considering a proposal to tax the disposable coffee cup to encourage people to bring their own, or a return deposit system for coffee cups like we have for bottles and cans.
"I'm disappointed Vancouver has not been on the forefront," said Vancouver Councillor Tim Stevenson, who has supported plans to ban plastic bags and plastic bottles.
Stevenson says he's not in favour of a tax on coffee cups because it wouldn't make a big enough difference to coffee drinkers.
"They're willing to pay two, three, four, five dollars for a cup," he said. "Another ten cents, they wouldn't even notice."
Stevenson wants the city to work with businesses such as Tim Horton's and Starbucks to have recycling depots on their premises.
The two men running for Vancouver's top job both say the coffee industry needs to do more.
Peter Ladner says vendors should not think of discounting coffee to encourage customers to bring their own cup, but instead think of charging for the cup itself.
"It's the same cost -- but now you're thinking the whole new way about that plastic cup," he said.
Gregor Robertson says that industry needs to take responsibility for returnable or multi-use packaging.
"We look at the history of milk bottles, where everyone used to return their glass bottle," he said. "Now, the system has shifted to industry not being responsible for their packaging and everyone recycles or throws away those containers.
"We have to look at going to returnable or multi-use packaging," he said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson