Calls are growing for the introduction of a 5p charge on disposable coffee cups to combat huge numbers ending up in landfill sites.
A petition on Change.org has so far attracted more than 30,000 signatures, calling for a charge similar to the plastic bag tax.
Fewer than one in every 400 disposable coffees cups in the UK are currently recycled, even when actually put in recycling bins.
The petition, to environment secretary Michael Gove and business secretary Greg Clark, said: “Let’s introduce this charge and encourage people to bring in a reusable cup to coffee shops for their daily caffeine routine.
“Recently a trial was done by Cardiff University which proved a small charge would massively reduce the huge piles of waste that we create every year.
“This simple change would do huge amounts for the environment and create long-term sustainability: Millions of trees are cut down for this every year, destroying billions of animal’s homes, worsening our air quality and wasting tonnes of energy.”
Cardiff University’s research found that a charge was a more effective way to encourage people to bring a reusable cup than a financial incentive such as a discount.
The Environmental Audit Committee is currently holding an inquiry into disposable packaging to see what can be done about the issue.
Earlier this week, environment minister Thérèse Coffey said that she was “open to the idea” of the 5p charge, the Times reported.
She said that the money could be used to improve facilities for recycling cups.
The plastic bag charge, introduced in England in 2015, proved incredibly successful with usage plummeting 85% in the year since it was brought in.