IN A bid to help drive down the number of disposable hot drink cups, a councillor has been finding out if shops in Welshpool are allowing customers to enjoy their favourite tea or coffee from re-usable cups.

Powys County Councillor for Trewern, Amanda Jenner, asked coffee shops in the town if they allow people to buy takeaway drinks, pouring the espresso or cappuccino into their own re-usable cups?

She asked Powys County Council to look into the problem and using data from parliamentary reports, has found that households in Powys use 60 tonnes of disposable cups each year, many ending up in landfill sites.

Every year in the UK, 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away, with only one per cent of coffee cups used, recyclable.

Cllr Jenner said: “All but one of the coffee shops I contacted said that they would happily sell takeaway hot drinks in people’s own re-usable cups and mugs.

“I was disappointed to discover that Greggs would only allow purchases in their own Greggs branded re-usable cups.

“Following this, I contacted Greggs’ Head Office to query their practise and discovered that their national policy does allow for purchases in any re-usable cup.

“Since hearing this, I have spoken with the manager at Greggs in Welshpool and I am encouraged that they will now implement their national policy, thereby allowing people to purchase takeaway hot drinks in their own re-usable mugs.

“What is even better is that Greggs have said they will offer a 20p discount to those purchasing in re-usable rather than disposable mugs.”

Cllr Jenner added: “It’s really good to be able to have these conversations with businesses and hear that they are willing to make changes without being defensive about doing so.

“It’s great to see more and more members of the public using re-usable cups and that businesses selling hot drinks are willing to support this.”

Earlier this year MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) had suggested a charge of 25p for disposable coffee cups to reduce their use, but this has not been taken any further.