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Plastic Packaging Tax

What is it?

As of April 2022, the UK government is introducing a new Plastic Packaging Tax. The new tax applies to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.

For packaging that contains multiple materials it would still be classified as Plastic Packaging if it is ‘predominantly plastic’.

plastic packaging tax example

Breakdown Plastic Aluminium Cardboard Total packaging weight Will it be taxed?
Weight of materials 4g 3g 3g =10g All materials are considered taxable
Weight of materials 3g 4g 3g =10g None of these materials are considered taxable

Imported plastic packaging will be liable to the tax, whether it is filled or unfilled. It will not apply to any plastic packaging which
contains at least 30% recycled plastic content, or any packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight.

With the plastic packaging tax being introduced, there will be a greater demand by businesses to use recycled packaging materials.
Check out our Insight Earth programme to help you with your sustainable packaging requirements.

Need some guidance?

With Covid-19 and Brexit causing delays, the policy terms are yet to be published. Depending on the situation, we expect the Green Paper Legislation to be published later this year. Within the draft legislation, we expect clearer guidance on:

  • Scope of the tax, type of taxable product and recycled content
  • How the tax will be collected, recovered and enforced
  • Who will be liable to pay the tax and need to register with HMRC
  • Exemption for producers and importers of small quantities of plastic packaging

What can we do to help?

  • Change the mix of your polythene product to include a minimum of 30% recycled film
  • Switch your polythene product over to a high-performance film that weighs less, therefore reducing your annual consumption of polythene
  • Switch to a different material altogether. Have you ever thought about using paper instead of polythene?
  • Insight Earth – Our review programme which audits your packaging processes and offers you an eco-friendly alternative