UK Government Introduces Plastic Packaging Tax

The UK has announced that from April 2022 it will introduce a new tax on plastic packaging. The tax will apply to all plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content. The bill was introduced to combat staggering figures that over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging is used in the UK each year, and 67% of all plastic waste comes from single use packaging.

The tax aims to shift economic incentive to produce more sustainable packaging alternatives, complementing the Packaging Producer Responsibility regulations that have also been announced.  These regulations “encourage businesses to design and use plastic packaging that is easier to recycle, and discourage them from creating plastic packaging which is difficult to recycle, which will increase supply of easier-to-recycle plastic”.

The tax will apply to all plastic packaging produced in the UK and all unfilled packaging imported into the UK containing less than 30% recycled materials. The amount taxed will be calculated based on the full weight of the packaging product.

An open consultation has been now been initiated by government representatives seeking views on the design of the tax. The deadline is May 12 2019 and responses can be submitted here.

Sonja Duncan