The UK government has announced plans to introduce a plastic packaging tax upon plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content.
The government intend to introduce the new plastic packaging tax from April 2022 in a bid to increase the use of recycled plastics. The current proposal suggests an additional £200 per tonne of plastic packaging placed onto the UK market with less than 30% recycled content.
The scope of the tax will extend to the importation of filled plastic packaging but a minimum threshold of 10 tonnes of plastic packaging has been suggested to ensure the smallest businesses are not “disproportionately impacted”.
The budget estimates the income from the packaging tax will be £695 million over the following three years.
The government also touched upon measures affecting Extended Producer Responsibility, committing £700,000 to develop IT capability to administer the future Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for packaging.
The rates and threshold will be kept under review to ensure that the tax remains effective in increasing the use of recycled plastic. Alongside the announcement of the plastic packaging tax, HMRC will be conducting a consultation for businesses who will be affected by the tax. The consultation allows for feedback responding to the scope of the tax, de minis threshold, liability, evidence and enforcement.
Martin Trigg-Knight, Head of Packaging at Clarity Environmental, said:
“We welcome the government’s agenda to tackle problematic plastic waste by increasing the incentives for purchasing packaging with recycled content.”
Now that the direction has been confirmed, we hope the mechanics will follow as soon as possible as there are still uncertainties around how the tax will work – not least how 30 per cent recycled content will be proven, and how the money raised will be reinvested into recycling.
“It is clear that the plastics tax could result in a significant increase in costs for some manufacturers and importers, and those businesses must start preparing now. With Brexit, coronavirus, and packaging regulation reforms also affecting these businesses, it is vital that they are supported through the changes ahead.”
Future-proof with Clarity Environmental
We are encouraging our packaging compliance members to consider making changes to packaging now to avoid the future costs of inaction. We can help by looking at your data, the packaging you use and the opportunities for reducing the impact of packaging. If you are concerned that future changes to extended producer responsibility will impact your business get in touch to find out how our team can help you prepare.