The New Plastic Packaging Tax
The new Plastic Packaging Tax bill is expected to be introduced in April 2022.
According to the UK government, the purpose of this new policy is to “provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging, which will create a greater demand for this material. In turn this will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration. Recycled plastic has a carbon footprint than can be up to four times lower than that of virgin plastic.”
The government is publishing a draft of the legislation for technical consultation which sets out the key features of the tax, including:
- This new tax applies to plastic packaging produced in, or imported into, the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. A tax will be charged at a flat rate of £200 per tonne.
- Where the new tax applies, businesses will be required to register with HM Revenue & Customs. The tax will be accounted for through quarterly tax returns.
- An estimated 20,000 businesses manufacturing and importing plastic packaging are expected to be impacted by the new tax.
- Imported plastic packaging will be liable to the tax, whether the packaging is filled or unfilled.
- An exemption for manufacturers and importers of less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year.
It is estimated that as a result of the tax the use of recycled plastic in packaging could increase by around an estimated 40%. This is equal to carbon savings of nearly 200,000 tonnes in 2022 to 2023, based on current carbon factors.
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