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Your Guide to the Plastic Packaging Tax

One of the key contributing factors to climate change is the sheer volume of single-use plastic making its way to landfill or the ocean where it stays for potentially hundreds of years. The UK Government is committed to a future of recycling and reducing the amount of plastic packaging and waste that is entering landfill. They are specifically keen to target businesses and manufacturers to use recycled goods where possible.  So, to enforce and encourage this, the HMRC has introduced a tax to be applied to some plastic packaging manufacturing and imports. In this blog we will look at this in more detail and see the impact this may have on your business and how we may be able to help you solve your plastic tax problems.

Plastic Packaging Tax

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

UK HMRC is introducing a plastic packaging tax. It covers plastic packaging products that do not contain at least 30% recycled content and targets both UK producers and importers of plastic packaging. The tax also covers packaging that is already “filled” when imported into the UK.

The tax came into force on 1 April 2022 and is charged at a rate of:

  • £200 per tonne from 1 April 2022
  • £210.82 per tonne from 1 April 2023

There is a threshold of 10tonnes per year, meaning some small businesses may not be affected. Current estimates show that around 5million tonnes of plastic are used annually in the UK, predominantly plastic packaging, but with only a very small amount of this being recycled. The plastic packaging tax aims to minimise plastic waste and generate an investment in recycling.

There are 2 types of packaging that qualify for the plastic tax; that which is used in a supply chain or that which is single use for consumers. Focusing specifically on the impact for the supply chain, the government states if it does any of the following functions: contain the goods, protect the goods, handle the goods, present the goods, or deliver the goods, then it will be subject to the plastic tax.


Who does it affect?

The plastic tax is effectively aimed at the manufacturers, importers, and retailers rather than the consumer. The main objective being that by targeting the issue higher up the supply chain the plastic tax will tackle the large volume of plastic waste by encouraging more businesses to include more recycled plastic in packaging. It is hoped that ultimately a shift in demand will stimulate investment in recycling processes, infrastructure, or better yet sourcing alternative materials. By introducing this tax, the hope is it will force businesses to become more eco-friendly and consider more sustainable long-term solutions for packaging their products.


What can we do to help?

Of course, switching to using recycled materials or alternative materials is great in principle but is not always an option. IBCs are not currently exempt from the plastic tax, so maybe it’s time to think outside the box? Our state-of-the-art IBC cleaning station and dedicated cleaning processes allow us to clean a large number of IBC’s a day using our unique ultra-efficient high pressure omni-directional spinner cleaning heads. Utilising our extensive cleaning processes means that your IBC is no longer single use. As the IBC is now reusable use you can potentially avoid the tax altogether or drastically reduce any outgoings.


It is important that you follow the advice given by the HMRC here to make sure you are registered and ready to comply with the new plastic tax legislation. If you are interested in our professional IBC cleaning services and would like more information on the different services we offer, get in touch now to see how we can help you.

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