It is estimated that Coffee lovers in the UK get through 2.5 billion disposable cups every twelve months - translating into about 25,000 tonnes of waste.
But only about one in 400 is recycled.
That is because they are made from plastic wrapped in paper - and the mixed material makes them hard to recycle.
To make them waterproof, the card is fused with polyethylene - a material that cannot be separated out again in a standard recycling mill.
There are only two sites in the UK where the film is separated from the plastic.
Academics from Cardiff University tested a series of ideas to encourage consumers to use re-usable cups.
In addition to the charge, there were messages reminding people about the environmental impact of single use cups, while free re-usable cups were made available.