From April 2022, the UK government will introduce a new tax on plastic packaging.
The tax will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in – or imported into – the UK that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. Plastic packaging is classed as packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight.
The tax will not apply to any plastic packaging containing at last 30% recycled plastic, or packaging which is not classed as predominantly plastic by weight.
Imported plastic packaging will be liable to the tax regardless of whether the packaging is unfilled or filled.
All manufacturers and importers of less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per annum are exempted from the scheme.
The tax aims to provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the manufacture of plastic packaging, which will create 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.
The government and HMRC estimate the new measure will generate carbon savings of almost 200,000 tonnes in 2022 to 2023, and it is thought that the use of recycled plastic in packaging will increase by 40% per annum.
It is expected that this change may bring additional administrative tasks. We continue to monitor the market for any further updates and will share information with you as it is released.