I watched a bit of a discussion programme last night.
They were on about take-away coffee cups, and how they are apparently destroying the planet. That’s a new one on me.
They started by claiming that something like two million cups are discarded every day in Ireland. Shocking? Well, considering that Ireland has a population of somewhere around four million, and the vast majority are children, elderly, out of work, don’t feel a constant need to lug coffee around all the time or working in an environment where take-aways aren’t necessary then we can only assume that someone is drinking far too much coffee on the streets and is chucking a shed load of the fucking things around every day. Either that or the two million is just another little makey uppy number to make it sound like there is a serious problem. Sorry, but I just don’t believe that number.
I don’t understand this coffee lark. Twenty years ago you wouldn’t have seen a single cup outside a coffee shop but now it seems to be compulsory to walk everywhere with a smart phone in one hand and a coffee cup in the other. What is this desperate need for liquid refreshment all the time? Is it to make the idiot look so busy and indispensable that they don’t even have time for a coffee break? It just makes them look like an insecure wonk desperate to “keep with the trend”.
Anyhows the discussion started with the inevitable call for a tax on coffee cups. The answer to any problem [real or imaginary] these days is to slap a sin tax on it. Naturally they quoted the plastic bag “levy” [i.e. tax] as being a resounding success and want the same for coffee cups. So do I wander into a coffee shop, ask for a take-away coffee and when they mention the tax do I just tell them to give me the coffee without the cup? That could be interesting?
There was talk of people bringing their own cups. That’s fair enough – I could bring my pint mug and watch the vendor’s face when I produce it. And anyway, who wants to lug a cup around all the time just in case of a life-saving urge for coffee?
There was talk of recyclable cups [apparently the current ones – all two million of them – aren’t recyclable or something] but they overlook one tiny problem…. where are the recycle bins apart from at home? I have never seen one on the streets so the recyclable ones are just going to be tossed into the ordinary litter bin and will presumably end up in landfill anyway.
There is a very simple solution to this imaginary problem. Just carry on as normal. No taxes or levies. But if the vendor wants to, he can give a reduction on his price to those who want to provide their own cups. He saves on the cups and they can be smug and imagine they are saving the planet.
The Greens naturally want a total ban on coffee cups.
I wish someone would recycle the Greens and turn them into toilet paper.