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UK Plastic Packaging Tax

What? Scheduled for introduction in April 2022, the UK Plastic Packaging Tax will be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne on the production and import of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content, subject to consultation.

Why? ‘Plastic packaging accounts for 44% of plastic used in the UK, but 67% of plastic waste, and over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging is used each year’. Source: The rationale of this tax aims to increase the use of recycled content in plastic packaging and it is anticipated that as a result of the tax there will be a significant increase in the amount of partially recycled plastic packaging used.

Who? The burden of proof sits with those producing or importing the plastic packaging.  Importers (either empty or around product), manufacturers or converters will need to prove that their packaging contains the necessary recycled content in order to be exempt from the tax. Although some small companies importing or converting less than 10 tonnes per year are likely to be exempt, the impact on businesses will be significant. 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging are expected to be liable for this tax and there will be civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply.

Reduce your liability now!

Businesses are likely to incur one-off costs including: familiarisation with the new rules, training for staff, registration with HMRC, and developing the required reporting framework to complete tax returns. On-going costs could include completing, filing and paying tax returns, keeping appropriate records and amending returns.

Your business could reduce its liability in the future if it acts now by:

  • gathering and analysing the correct information about the packaging you handle,
  • reviewing your supply chain and optimising your packaging
  • putting the correct systems in place to collect evidence for your audit trail

How we can help you:

  • We can provide you with a free of charge ballpark calculation today using our Plastic Tax Calculator! (click here to launch the calculator)
  • Undertake Impact Assessments to advise you on how the Plastic Packaging Tax will impact your business
  • Help you to optimise your packaging for a circular economy that can work in the long-term (and reduce your liability). (See more here)

Contact us:

To find out more about how the Plastic Packaging Tax might impact your business and how we can help then complete our online enquiry form or email on

[Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash]