Student pushing 25 cent 'tax' on single use coffee cups

The cost of your morning cup of joe could be going up, if a handful of environmentally conscious café owners and a determined McGill student have their way.

They are tossing around the idea of a 25 cent environmental surcharge on single use paper to go cups.

“It’s a small first step that will allow us to get people to start thinking about their actions,” said Olivia St-Laurent, a first year environmental studies student at McGill University, who is pushing the initiative.

The goal is to reduce the city’s beverage container waste. St-Laurent says discount initiatives for using reusable cups are getting the job done.

“It’s not enough to get a tap on the back for doing the right thing,” she said in an interview with CJAD 800. “I think we need to be told that something that we are doing is actually having a negative impact.”

She says she would eventually like to see the use of paper coffee cups abandoned all together, but she says customers need to be eased into the idea.

At least one café, Poquebot is on board with the idea.

“It’s only 25 cents and if you bring your own cup, it’s nothing,” said owner Samuel Perreault, in an interview with CJAD 800.

His three locations could adopt the surcharge as soon as January 1st, he said.

“Do you want to pay more for a coffee, I’m not sure; but, do you want the planet to be greener, I think so,” he said.

Perreault will host a discussion on Tuesday with St-Laurent and other café owners, to try to push the issue in the community.