More than half of the public are in favour of an additional charge on paper takeaway coffee cups, a new survey has found.
The Newstalk/Amárach Poll asked if people would be in favour of the introduction of the so-called 'latte levy'.
The levy would add a 20c charge on to the price of a drink if it is served in a single-use disposable cup.
Some 51% of people said they would be in favour of introducing the levy, and 41% would not.
Butler's Chocolates Retail Director Michelle McBride told Henry McKean for Newstalk Breakfast she believes another charge isn't what is needed.
"In other markets where a levy has been introduced on paper packaging, Canada for example, it's been reversed," she said.
"They've gone with a 12-month trial and it's been reversed.
"What they found is that it doesn't influence or change behaviour.
"I think that we're really on the upper-end of the price of a cup of coffee at the moment, and I think a further 20c would be a massive blow.
"We're all very cautious about the latte levy; I don't think it's the right solution to that the industry needs at the moment".
One customer at Dublin's Bald Barista, who said he has a large latte every day, believes it will simply raise prices.
"I wouldn't agree with it; that [coffee] cost me €4.80 so an extra levy on it would make it up to €5.
"I've been drinking coffee here for the last 10 years since he opened, and I wouldn't like it."
Charlotte Richardson from Kaph on Dublin's Drury Street said a lot of people come in with reusable cups.
"Since the start of the year there has been a bit more," she said.
"I'd say it's kind of a thing of people's New Year's resolutions and stuff, they want to help the environment.
"It's 20c cheaper if you bring your own cup.
"A flat white is €4, but if you get it in your own cup it's €3.80, so it helps".
Ms McBride said she believes the industry as a whole will suffer under an additional charge.
"I don't think it's actually the approach we should be taking in a democratic society," she said.
"I think encouraging the use of reusable cups is a really good thing, I think encouraging the use of ceramic cups in a sit down environment is also very important.
"We have been offering customers a discount for the use of reusable cups for many years.
"I don't think it's as simple as, 'Everybody, everytime please bring a reusable cup'.
"I don't think that supply of coffee should be reduced to that, I don't think it's great customer service".
Ms McBride said initiatives such as The Cup Collective should be expanded.
"We're part of a trial working with Panda Waste... collecting all used paper cups and lids," she said.
"We've collected 48,000 as a trial group in the last couple of months and they're being exported directly to a papermill in the UK called James Cropper.
"All of that material has been recycled and reused in luxury paper packaging for different sectors.
"I think it's something the Government should consider as opposed to a levy.
"Most operators in the coffee sector are using either 100% recyclable or compostable cups, and we have been doing that as an industry for 10, 15 years.
"So, I think to come along with a levy is just not the right solution," she added.
Almost half, 49%, of people surveyed said they would be in favour of a nationwide ban on single-use coffee cups.
Those aged 55 and over are more likely to be in favour of such a ban.
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