The comments come after the Scottish government revealed plans to apply a charge of at least 20p to 25p to every disposable cup to help cut down on the estimated 200 million single-use coffee cups used.

Razzaq told betterRetailing suppliers must step in to help retailers. “This is going to add to the costs we already deal with,” he said. “My supplier is Subway, and it would be great if they offered us the facility to use refillable cups, which we could advertise, because the fee will definitely have an impact on our sales.”

Razzaq sells, on average, 70 cups of coffee priced at £1.50 a day. If the charge were imposed, he would be asking customers for an extra £17.50 a day, equating to £122.50 a week. The news was no surprise to Razzaq, but he is concerned about the timing of the announcement in relation to a deposit return scheme (DRS).

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“I’m not surprised, because we knew there was a consultation happening, but I’m really hoping this doesn’t get rushed out because of everything else Scottish retailers are dealing with,” he said.

“Although I fully support DRS, it seems this ‘coffee tax’ has been sprung on us when we are already in the middle of something.

“Yet again, there has been no consideration for the retailer.”

However, Razzaq confirmed he will be sharing his opinion with the government. “Alongside the NFRN, I will be speaking to the government about the impact on retailers,” he said. “We are happy to work with them, but it needs to be well timed and planned.”

No implementation date has yet been set.

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