A proposed 20 cent levy on single-use coffee cups "sends the wrong message on sustainability" and the Government needs to rethink its strategy, according to a body representing the retail industry in Ireland.
The measure was announced earlier this year by the Government as part of the Circular Economy Bill, which is aimed at reducing waste and influencing behaviour.
Minister of State Ossian Smyth has said the levy is designed to wean people off single use containers and switch to reusable keep cups.
When announcing the measures contained in the bill in late March, Mr Smyth said the use of reusable cups for takeaway coffee dwindled during the Covid pandemic, but stressed that public health advice said they were safe and there should be no concerns about spreading Covid-19.
However, the Managing Director of Retail Excellence has now said the proposed levy sent out a mixed message to retailers.
Duncan Graham said the measure "does not make sense" and could have unintended consequences for businesses.
"The reality behind this, and where the Greens are taking us with this one, is the elimination of paper cups and the replacement of them with plastic reusable cups," he said on RTÉ's Morning Ireland.
"Paper cups are recyclable and are often compostable and we're replacing that with a plastic cup that potentially ends up in landfill, and that's a major cause of concern for us."
Mr Graham said the Government should look at providing workplaces with recyclable containers so that people can dispose of their takeaway coffee cups separately.