The UK government yesterday (28 April 2020) announced that it has extended the plastic packaging tax consultation, providing additional time for stakeholders to submit their views.
Published on 11 March 2020, the consultation was due to close on 20 May. In an update to the consultation document, the government says it recognises that many sectors with an interest in this policy are “affected by covid-19” and it wants to give all stakeholders time to submit their views.
The closing date is now 11.45pm, 20 August 2020, although early responses are still encouraged from stakeholders, to support ongoing consideration of the policy.
The consultation opened in March, following confirmation from Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Spring Budget, that the government was to introduce a tax on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30 per cent of recycled content.
The aim is to encourage greater use of recycled plastic and help tackle plastic packaging waste. The impact of the tax on businesses is expected to be “significant”, with around 20,000 producers and importers liable for the tax. The consultation by the HMRC offers businesses the opportunity to review, and comment on, its detailed design and implementation.
This new tax will apply to plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30 per cent of recycled content. It relates to packaging that is either produced in the UK, or imported into the UK market. Imported packaging will be liable for the tax, whether it is filled or unfilled (i.e. with product in it). The government has set a rate of of £200 per tonne, to be paid on packaging that consists of less than 30% recycled plastic. This rate will be subject to review, however, to ensure that the tax remains effective in increasing the use of recycled plastic.
Despite an extension to the end of the consultation, the implementation date of April 2022 remains the same.
Head of Packaging at Clarity Environmental, Martin Trigg-Knight, said of the news: “This extension will be welcome news for those businesses currently trying to operate under difficult circumstances and with reduced staff. It is important to note, however, that the implementation date has not changed, and so it is vital that those businesses affected by the tax continue to review how it may impact their business and prepare in advance. We are doing what we can to support our members to do just that and ensure they are aware of the changes that lie ahead for the sector.”
Review the plastic tax consultation
The consultation allows for feedback responding to the scope of the tax, the de minis threshold, liability, evidence and enforcement, exports. The rate of the tax and the percentage of recycled content are not within the scope of this consultation. You can find the consultation document here.
We are supporting our packaging compliance members to prepare now for the changes ahead. If you have any questions or concerns about what the tax means for your business, or the support you think you may need, please do get in touch with our packaging compliance scheme.