Bristol City Council will tax people 5p for every disposable cup used in cafes on council-owned premises.
Lib Dem Councillor Clare Campion Smith proposed the motion to deter people from using environmentally harmful disposable cups.
Every year, the UK throws away up to 2.5 billion paper cups. They are difficult to recycle due to the use of plastic costing on the can board.
Julian Gregg from Academic learning support at UWE said: “If people end up buying fewer disposable cups then obviously it would be a significant improvement in terms of environment protection.”
He later added: “I am a little sceptical about how far it will go in protecting the environment, but perhaps it will make them think twice about what happens to their cup after they’ve used it.”
Staff at UWE were supportive of the measure but said more needed to be done.
Garry Embury, a Senior lecturer in illustration at UWE, said: “They need to fine or add some further inducement to companies to actually stop them making things out of plastic. The companies who are making this stuff need to be really targeted.”
Julie Roome, another support staff member at UWE, added: “In Sweden I’ve noticed that they have deposits on tins and plastic bottles with special units in supermarkets where you return them and get your money back.”