Find out more about the Plastic Packaging Tax

UPDATED OCTOBER 14, 2021

An overview of the Plastic Packaging Tax

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

The Plastic Packaging Tax will take effect from 1st April 2022. The intention of the tax is to provide an economic incentive encouragaging the use of  packaging which includes recycled material. It will apply to plastic packaging items produced in (or imported into) the UK that do not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.

What definition of plastic packaging is being used?

Plastic packaging is defined in draft legislation as packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight. The fine detail of what constitutes packaging is still under consideration but products stocked by Cambrian are clearly with the scope of the tax.

NB: It should be noted that packaging items will be considered separately for the purposes of the tax. A bottle/container and a cap/dispenser will constitute two items, not a combined single item. 

Who will be liable to pay the tax? 

Any company manufacturing plastic packaging or importing plastic packaging items into the UK and supplying it to the UK market will be liable to pay the Plastic Packaging Tax to HMRC on products that contain less than 30% recycled plastic. 

NB: Companies importing filled products into the UK will be liable to pay the tax on the product packaging unless it contains at least 30% recycled material. 

What is the tax rate? 

Independently of the cost of the packaging item, the tax is applied by weight at £200 per tonne. The draft legislation includes provision for the rate to be amended at a later stage. 

Will plastic packaging costs change?

The tax will be an additional cost borne by companies that are liable; it seems likely that the costs will be passed down the supply chain. Memoranda associated with draft legislation included a note indicating the Government’s acknowledgement of this being the probable outcome. 

What steps can be taken to avoid the extra costs?

The only option is to use plastic packaging that contains at least 30% recycled plastic in its manufacture or otherwise consider the use of materials other than plastic. The first option will be far less disruptive to current packaging purchasers. 

Are there any exemptions? 

  • Companies producing or importing less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year are exempt from liability.
  • Packaging used to contain human medicinal products will also be exempt.
  • Products that contain multiple materials will not be liable if the plastic constitutes less than 50% of the finished weight.  

What can Cambrian do to help?

During Q1 2022 we’ll be adding products to our ZER0 range – bottles in this range are manufactured using 30% recycled material so they won’t be subject to the tax and the associated costs. 

We’ll be pleased to discuss the options with you; where the required quantities make it feasible, it will often be possible to specify manufacture of an existing packaging item in 30% recycled material. On smaller requirements we can support you with alternative products. 

                                                                            Zero Plastic Packaging Tax Logo

                 Click the icon above see the the range, we’ll keep customers updated as more products become available.

For more information about how we can help your brand to achieve its recycled packaging targets ahead of the implementation of the tax, call our experts on 01686 611 360.

Tip: We also stock some products made with Ecycle™ which is totally Plastic Packaging Tax exempt as this material is fully recycled HDPE. View our range of products exempt from the tax by clicking the button.

For more information about how we can help your brand to achieve its recycled packaging targets ahead of the implementation of the tax, call our experts on 01686 611 360.  #AskCambrian

Tip: We also stock some products made with Ecycle™ which is totally Plastic Packaging Tax exempt as this material is fully recycled HDPE.

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