The Government has set out a new Resources and Waste Strategy, which could see deposits paid for disposable cups.

Subject to consultation, the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme would serve to increase the recycling of single-use drinks containers including bottles, cans and disposable cups filled at the point of sale.

Under the new strategy, which aims to eliminate avoidable plastic waste, businesses and manufacturers would also pay the full cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste. It could also see the introduction of annual food surplus and waste reporting for food businesses.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed the new strategy, announced by Michael Gove, secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, yesterday.

Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “We welcome this new waste strategy and the brewing and pub sectors will be working closely with the Government to achieve its aims.

“We support a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles and crucially the strategy’s recognition of the need for a UK-wide system, which is vital to avoid unnecessary costs and significant fraud risk in what is an integrated UK supply-chain and market for drinks containers.

She said that although the food on reducing food waste would be yet another cost pressure for pubs, “our sector recognises the role we have to play”.

UKHospitality said that while the hospitality sector shares the concerns of Government and the general public regarding sustainability, new measures to promote sustainability and waste must be proportionate and affordable for operators.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “New measures are going to hit businesses at a tough time when costs are increasing and consumer confidence is low. Any new scheme, particularly the deposit return scheme, must be workable and avoid piling further financial pressure on businesses.”