A tax on vending cups as part of the introduction of a single use plastic tax could have a serious and negative impact on the vending industry.
The hot drinks vending business is quite different to any other hot drinks retail outlet. Not all machines are cashless, instead most accept silver coins only. This means that the minimum amount of a purchase levy on a cup will be 5p.
As the average retail price of a vending cup of coffee is 27p, the consumer would be hit with a price increase of almost 20%. Not forgetting that almost half of vended hot drinks are provided FOC, many from machines with no coin mechanism fitted.
Single use cups is a tiny proportion of the UK’s overall packaging waste, but we all need to wake up to this “plastic problem” and play our part. If vending is offered in a working environment, we as individuals cannot ignore what will become of our used cup.
On a more positive note, the vending industry is well placed to promote the collection and recycling of single use cups, as most machines are in workplace sites, so “post-consumer waste streams” should be relatively easy to establish. In fact, the industry has been supporting recycling of both plastic and paper cups for many years and continues to do so.