I saw this mentioned by a greenie on another site, guess the idea is to get people to stop using disposable cups. With the banning of grocery bags this can't be that far away. I thought about it for a while and here's what will happen.
First the government will need a new Department of Homeland Cup Regulation. That will be staffed by bunch of political hacks, to implement this legislation they will first need to do a study over a year for about 10 or 20 million dollars.
What's the monetary benefits? What is a disposable cup? How much tax can we put on them? Do people have sentimental feelings for their cups? Do cups have feelings?
These questions will all need to be answered and since none of the 52,000 people in the Department of Homeland Cup Regulation do not actually know anything about cups the study will be done by the best friend of the Congressperson that sponsored the bill. This friend is uniquely qualified, as pure coincidence he just gave up his job as a convenience store clerk and started a new company that specializes in cup research a few weeks before the passage of the bill. As an added benefit for the Congressperson they can now make some extravagant claim about the jobs he/she created with cup regulation.
After the year long study we will have a new set of regulations 3,485.834,840,284 pages long covering everything about cups that even the authors don't fully understand. One of the major regualtions will be if you want to market your cup as non disposable it will now have be tested and certified as non disposable which of course comes with a fee. We will also need the cup police to insure that no one is selling uncertified cups as certified cups and since it's been determined cups do in fact have feelings you will need to properly dispose of any cup in a Department of Homeland Cup Regulation approved container or face a $10K fine and 5 years in jail.
These regulations will not apply to everyone though, anyone donating $1000 to their local Congressperson of the political party in power at the moment gets a Cup Regulation exemption allowing them to sell coffee at reduced rate driving the competition out of business.
Ultimately the new certified cups cost so much because of the increased regulation your better off just paying the extra fee for the disposable one. The environmentalists will now complain that they can no longer afford to buy the non disposable cups which are expensive because of the legislation they wanted in the first place. To fix this problem we will subsidize them to make them competitive which will be funded by increasing the ridiculous tax on disposable cups to a ludicrous tax.
Now everyone is happy, the environmentalist can look down their nose at others while drinking coffee out of their taxpayer funded non disposable cup and the people using the disposable cup are just happy to have a cup. The exception to this happy camper party is the The Department of Homeland Cup Regulation who no longer has a reason to exist or expand their bureaucracy........ oh wait a minute, is that a news story on the addictive qualities of caffeine and how it will harm your health? Damn, we better regulate what is in that cup!