A Guide to the New Plastic Packaging Tax

The UK Government’s new Plastic Packaging Tax will come into effect from April 2022. What does this mean for businesses who trade in the UK?

Here, we explore how the new tax will impact your business and how you can save money – and the environment – by switching to sustainable packaging.

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax? 

The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) will apply to all plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK that contains less that 30 per cent recycled plastic. The rate of PPT will be £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging and is due to come into effect from 1 April 2022.

Plastic packaging is classified as packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight. Packaging that is imported will be liable to the tax, whether it is filled or unfilled.

The government has launched PPT in a bid to reduce the amount of single-use plastic disposed of in the UK. With it costing businesses to use non-recyclable plastic packaging, it is hoped that use of recycled plastic and fully recyclable packaging will increase. The economic incentive to use recycled plastic material in packaging is expected to drive recycling of plastic waste, in turn sending less for incineration or landfill.

The government predicts that the tax will increase packaging with recycled plastic by 40 per cent – equal to almost 200,000 tonnes of saved carbon between 2022 and 2023.

How will the Plastic Packaging Tax affect businesses and consumers? 

The tax will impact around 20,000 manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging. In addition to the tax itself, further costs for affected businesses will include registration with HMRC, training staff, completing and filing tax returns and storing appropriate records.

The new tax is not expected to impact consumers unless businesses choose to pass the additional cost on. With consumers becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, businesses that offer sustainable packaging options will be a more appealing choice for consumers – especially if their prices are not impacted by PPT.

Sustainable packaging alternatives 

If the new tax has inspired your business to switch to more sustainable packaging, there are plenty of options to choose from.

30 per cent recycled content plastic is enough to avoid the tax. However, businesses looking for fully recyclable packaging can opt for paper-based packaging solutions. Paper packaging offers an 100 per cent recyclable and biodegradable solution that can be manufactured using recycled paper.

Paper-based packaging includes:

Get in touch with Protega Global to discuss your sustainable packaging needs.

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