After the success of a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags, senior politicians now want to place the same levy on disposable coffee cups.
Citing threats to the wildlife and environment, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said he wants to see more people bring their own cups to refill.
The party introduced the 5p charge on plastic bags, which has led to an 85 per cent reduction in the number used.
They predict two billion fewer coffee cups would be used each year if the same charge was implemented.
“Throwaway cups are a threat to wildlife and the environment and it’s high time the Government stepped in to reduce the amount of waste created each year,” said Farron.
“I want to see a culture shift towards bringing your own cup for a refill, rather than buying cups which are often non-recyclable and then throwing them away.
Liberal Democrats brought in the plastic bag charge and it’s been proven highly successful – coffee cups are the next logical step.”
Currently 2.5 billion disposable cups are thrown away each year.
Fewer than one in four are recycled. The Party will practise what it preaches and implement a 5p charge on disposable cups for hot drinks bought at its party conference this month.
Kate Parminter, the Lib Dem environment spokesperson said: “Most people purchase a tea or coffee and throw away the cup without even thinking about it, but a charge would increase our awareness of the environmental impact.”
The plastic bag levy applies to large businesses. It came into effect in Wales in 2011, Northern Ireland in 2013 and Scotland in 2014.
In England it came into effect last October. The Lib Dems did not specify whether the charge on disposable coffee cups should be applied to all sizes of business.