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Western Australia bans plastic coffee cups from February 2023

Western Australia is set to be the first state to remove plastic-lined coffee cups and lids from use – but there are fears customers will pay extra for their caffeine hit after the move. 

The state will kickstart the second phase of a single-use plastics ban in February next year. 

Other items in the firing line include produce bags for loose fruit and vegetables, plastic cotton buds and polystyrene cups. 

Cafés will need to pass the cost of the changes on to customers, who have already been footing the bill for recent coffee bean price hikes

Disposable cups made from paper could replace the plastic cups (pictured, stock image)

Disposable cups made from paper could replace the plastic cups (pictured, stock image)

But cafés will need to pass the cost of the changes on to customers, who have already been footing the bill for recent coffee bean price hikes.

Warren Reynolds from Muzz Buzz, a drive-through coffee chain in Perth, has started replacing plastic cups with biodegradable products from China and Vietnam. 

But the upgrade is costing him 10 to 20 per cent more. 

‘It has to be passed on to customers … we couldn’t absorb that, or retailers will go broke,’ Mr Reynolds told The West Australian.

The alternatives to plastic cups range from ‘keep cups’ and a swap-and-go sign-up scheme, where drinkers use a cup and return it to a participating shop. 

Disposable paperboard-lined cups are also on the cards as a replacement. 

Mr Reynolds said the biodegradable cups were the more realistic option. 

‘There’s talk about swap schemes with cups, but it’s ridiculous. That sort of stuff doesn’t work,’ the franchise chairman said. 

Warren Reynolds (pictured), chairman at Muzz Buzz coffee shop franchises in Western Australia, said some of the schemes to replace plastic cups are 'ridiculous'

Warren Reynolds (pictured), chairman at Muzz Buzz coffee shop franchises in Western Australia, said some of the schemes to replace plastic cups are ‘ridiculous’

West Australians use 190 million single-use coffee cups with lids each year, a government report from last week stated

West Australians use 190 million single-use coffee cups with lids each year, a government report from last week stated

A Perth café franchise boss said: 'Keep cups don't work ... because people bring them back into us, and they’re filthy. Some of the things you see are just disgusting' (pictured, stock image of reusable cup)

A Perth café franchise boss said: ‘Keep cups don’t work … because people bring them back into us, and they’re filthy. Some of the things you see are just disgusting’ (pictured, stock image of reusable cup)

‘Keep cups don’t work either because people bring them back into us, and they’re filthy. Some of the things you see are just disgusting.’

He said he uses disposable cups that can be broken down and added they are the way of the future. 

The state’s push to ban plastics started four years ago when WA outlawed lightweight plastic shopping bags. 

West Australians use 190 million single-use coffee cups with lids each year, a government report from last week stated.

It is about to start phasing out plastic cups for cold drinks next month and fines of up to $5,000 apply for those not complying with the bans.

The cup bans come as customers are already forking out more to cover the rise in coffee bean prices. 

The beans have been in short supply amid droughts and frosty conditions in Brazil, which produces 40 per cent of the world’s coffee.  

The dairy industry also suggested this month that milk could face a 30 per cent price rise and it could soar far beyond the rate of inflation due to crippling staff shortages.

Meanwhile, other states are also putting plastic bans in place.

NSW put a ban on lightweight plastic bags into legislation last June but has no plans for phasing out plastic coffee cups as yet. 

Queensland has barred the use of single-use plastic straws, cutlery and plates since September last year and is keen to phase out the hot drink cups. 

The Victorian government will ban single-use plastic straws, stirrers, plates and cotton bud sticks in February 2023 – but has not committed to a plastic coffee cup ban as yet. 

WA expects the second stage to have a transition period of six to 18 months for the phase-out of the cups.

The Victorian government will ban single-use plastic straws, stirrers, plates and cotton bud sticks in February 2023 - but has not committed to a plastic coffee cup ban as yet

The Victorian government will ban single-use plastic straws, stirrers, plates and cotton bud sticks in February 2023 – but has not committed to a plastic coffee cup ban as yet

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