The UK Plastic Packaging Tax is Now in Full Effect, Learn What’s Changed!

Did you know….that the UK plastic packaging tax was introduced in April 2022?

Of course you did! Everyone in the plastic packaging industry has been talking about the UK’s plastic packaging tax for ages…but there’s been the little issue of Covid getting in the way of normal life for the last two years, so we’re here to make sure you know what you need to know.

And you really do need to know about the UK plastic packaging tax, whatever side of the packaging industry you’re in. From converter to brand to consumer, the UK PPT (catchy!) impacts on us all. It impacts on us all because packaging impacts on us all, and the drive to be more sustainable and more encouraging of a circular economy is not something we can just postpone, even if a global pandemic has made us feel like we’ve lost 24 months of our lives in a strange twilight world.

A quick recap.

This new UKPPT was initiated back in 2017 in the annual Budget, with a clear case for its necessity stemming from the increased awareness of the need to tackle climate change, with a particular focus on single-use plastics. This evidence gave way to the specifics of the UKPPT being announced in the 2018 Budget, with the primary legislation coming the following year. Royal Assent was granted in June 2021, bringing the tax into law from April 2022.

The UK Plastic Packaging Tax officially came into force on 1st April 2022 and it is a new tax that applies to plastic packaging that is manufactured in the UK and/or plastic packaging that is imported into the UK that DOES NOT contain at least 30% recycled plastic. This applies to all plastic packaging whether it is filled or unfilled. The only exemption is for manufacturers and importers that produce or import less than 10 tons of plastic packaging each year.

Rather than simply to penalise manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging, the goal of the UK PPT is to encourage key players across the FMCG sector and other major users of single-use plastic packaging

to use more recycled plastic. The economic incentive to make more sustainable decisions regarding the choice of single-use plastic packaging is expected to create more of a demand for rPET. The UK Government says, “In turn, this will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.”

The PONT team is keen to highlight that our standard range of PET packaging can include up to 100% rPET, with a broad range of containers available from stock at either 30% or 100% rPET. Sustainability manager Angela Thijssen says, “We’re here to make life easier – and more sustainable – for our customers. By offering a portfolio of PET packaging with up to 100% recycled content, they can be sure that they are perfectly in line with the new UK Plastic Packaging Tax and that their products will not be subject to the rather costly tax. And of course, it’s not just about not paying the additional tax, it’s about doing the right thing for our planet while still keeping consumers happy.”

Further information can be found here, on the UK Government website, which details the paperwork required and the specific definitions related to the UK PPT.