In February our Policy Director, Paul Van Danzig, hosted a Plastic Packaging Tax update webinar for our members providing an overview of how the tax has reached where it is today, and what this means for producers going forward.
The UK Government has confirmed its commitment to introduce a Plastic Packaging Tax from April 2022. The tax will cost liable businesses £200 per tonne on plastic packaging placed on the UK market that has less than 30% recycled plastic content.
The new tax is designed to stimulate the use of recycled plastic and it will be delivered separately to the reform of producer responsibility. It aims to provide incentives to businesses to drive the development, design and use, of more sustainable packaging.
In November 2018, Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) announced plans to introduce a tax on plastic packaging that does not reach a minimum requirement of recycled content. Since then, there has been two consultation periods, the first received over 166,000 responses mandating HMG to implement their proposals. In November 2020, HMG published a response to the latest consultation, along with draft legislation.
The draft legislation could be subject to amendments, nevertheless, it provides the clearest indication to date as to how HMG intend for the tax to operate. You can view this here.
While many businesses will be affected by the tax, it is important to note that the actual taxpayer, e.g. business liable to register and submit returns, will be the manufacturer of packaging or the importer of packaging.
During the Webinar, Paul explained that the tax “is not tapered off, it is a cliff edge tax – if you have 30% recycled content in your plastic packaging you will not have to pay the plastic tax, if you don’t then you are liable to pay”.
Going forward producers that are obligated must prepare for the implementation of the tax in April 2022. The draft legislation details the scope of the tax, chargeable components, exemptions, and many other essential factors which will help a business understand how best to prepare ahead of implementation.
It is clear from the questions raised by producers during the webinar, that further clarification is required from HMG, since not all queries could be answered from the consultation response or draft legislation. We are working with our members to provide guidance where possible and seek answers where needed.
The next update and further guidance from HMG will be eagerly awaited. In the meantime, we will be covering the most pertinent areas of the consultation response, and draft legislation over the coming weeks in our all-new Plastic Packaging Tax blog.
If you have any questions or concerns about what the tax means for your business, please contact our team, we’re happy to help.