On April 1st 2022, a Plastic Packaging Tax will be introduced across the UK.
It is hoped that the new tax will incentivise businesses to think about increasing the recycled content of their plastic packaging, which in turn will encourage an increase in recycling levels and collection of plastic waste, rather than directing plastic to landfill or incineration.
How will it work?
Plastic packaging produced or imported into the UK, containing less than 30% recycled content will be affected by PPT. The legislation will define “plastic packaging” as such whereby plastic comprises the heaviest component (over 50 per cent).
Manufacturers or importers will incur a tax rate of £200 per metric tonne, although exported plastic will be eligible for relief from the tax. Information on other categories of packaging which are exempt can be found here.
Recycled plastic is defined by the Government as “plastic that has been reprocessed from recovered material by using a chemical or manufacturing process”. Be careful though- it is important to note that biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging will also be subject to PPT.
Will the tax affect your business?
PPT will affect all UK based businesses manufacturing or importing 10 metric tonnes or more of plastic packaging in any given year. If you are a small manufacturer or importer, this may mean you are eligible for exemption from the tax.
Whilst this all might sound daunting, there are many practicalities you can be considering in the meantime to ensure your business is fully prepared for PPT.
Are you prepared?
- First of all, be sure to register with the HMRC on April 1st– registration is mandatory.
- Consider the amount of plastic packaging within your business which falls below the 30% recycled content threshold to help calculate the tax liability.
- Could the financial burden on your business be reduced by increasing the recycled plastic content of packaging? Not only will this save money, it also reduces your impact on the environment!
- Will the cost of the tax be offset by charging end-users more? Or will the manufacturer/importer bear this cost?
- You will need to maintain records to ensure compliance with this legislation. Consider who will be responsible for ensuring appropriate record keeping systems are in place. We strongly recommend spending some time looking over the Government Guidance on Record Keeping for PPT.
For support with packaging regulation compliance, please give us a call on 01743 343403.