Poll shows support for banning single-use plastic coffee cup lids


A new survey has found that 73% of respondents would like to see the ‘immediate banning’ of single-use plastic coffee cup lids in the UK.

A massive 87% of respondents to the poll said they believe the lids are a significant source of environmental pollution and litter.  

The Yonder survey of 2,079 UK adults, commissioned by ButterflyCup, follows last year’s decision by the UK Government to ban plastic straws, stirrers, and cotton buds – but not lids.

Some 2.5 billion cups are estimated to be thrown away each year. 

The study revealed that the number of people wanting to ban single-use lids is approximately the same as those who support a ban on single-use plastic straws (73%) and cutlery (71%).

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said, “The UK produces an ocean of single-use plastic lids every year which, even if they make it to a recycling centre, are too small and light to be processed. The majority live on for centuries in landfill or as litter, causing untold damage to our environment and marine life. It is time policymakers take seriously the risk they pose to our natural world.”

The survey found that 63% of respondents said they would pay more for an environmentally friendly alternative to the plastic lid – a marked increase from a similar poll in 2019 which found only half of consumers admitted they would pay more for eco-friendly packaging. 

Tommy McLoughlin, founder and CEO of ButterflyCup, said, “These results have lifted the lid on the coffee cup and lid waste crisis. They show that delays in banning single-use plastic lids is not caused by a lack of public support. The government must listen to the public and curb the use of single-use plastic lids in the same way it has done on similar plastic products like straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates – all of which are being banned. It is difficult to understand this glaring inconsistency in the government’s approach.”