The Daily Mail reported that Defra is considering the scheme that was “put forward by the packaging industry” and could warn coffee drinkers that single use cups would take “30 years to degrade”.
The labels have been compared to health warnings on cigarette packs and are said to be part of a strategy to reduce the number of cups. The report comes after the government mapped out its litter strategy.
However, Martin Kersh, executive director at the FPA, blasted the Daily Mail article and said that it was “incorrect”. He pointed out that the Dutch research quoted in the article, was conducted in 2005 by a student in a university cafeteria. The research found that the use of messages on cups could lead to a 5% reduction in littering.
He said: “The article is incorrect and the Strategy does not make a proposal for decomposition data labelling but for further research into messaging for all littered items.”
Kersh added: “The FPA is a member of the Litter Strategy Advisory Group and is quoted in the [litter] Strategy as proposing a voluntary code of litter messaging on labels where space and material print abilities exist. We believe this should be applied to all litter items including newspapers, cigarette packs and ATM receipts.
“The article has taken the reference to the Netherlands research, some research from Newcastle University on the printing of eyes on posters in littered areas and added this to the proposal for anti-litter messaging on pack. The Strategy makes it clear that voluntary litter messaging would be consistent with the proposed national litter campaign.
“The Dutch research was conducted by Dutch student as part of their PhD thesis. Defra has referenced the research from a paper presented by the doctoral student prior to the PhD having been awarded. The research was conducted in a University Cafeteria and according to the author had no lasting effect on the students and indeed recognised further research would be needed.”
Source: News – Packaging News