Further specifications released for Plastic Packaging Tax

HM Revenue and Customs has issued further clarification about the items in scope for the Plastic Packaging Tax and the point at which they would become chargeable, with draft secondary legislation.

The Plastic Packaging Tax will come into effect in April 2022, with a charge of £200 per tonne on plastic packaging placed onto the UK market that does not contain 30% recycled content.

Published on 20 July 2021, the latest update from HMRC covers several changes, including definitions of the modification process and plastic packaging component changes, and some examples of products that will not be in scope. The changes have been released online, with an opportunity for interested parties to consult on the proposed changes. The technical consultation closes on 17 August 2021.  

Preparing for Plastic Packaging Tax: our webinars

We are holding a series webinars to keep you up to date on the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax and ensure your business is prepared.

Members: If you are a member of our packaging compliance scheme, we invite you to attend our Preparing for Plastic Packaging Tax webinar, hosted by Sam Caplan, Data Manager, and Charlotte Briggs, Policy and Engagement Lead, on 4th August 2021 at 11:00-12:00. Register to attend here.

Non-members: For those businesses that are not members of our packaging compliance scheme, but believe they will be obligated for the Plastic Packaging Tax, we invite you to attend our Preparing for Plastic Packaging Tax webinar, hosted by Jimmy Dorrell, Head of Sustainable Business, and Charlotte Briggs, Policy and Engagement Lead, on 16th August 2021 at 11:00-12:00. Register to attend here.

Both webinars will cover:

– General overview and timeline for businesses.

– Modification processes and point at which the tax applies.

– Exemptions and further packaging component specifications.

– Suggested evidence documents.

– Preparation for businesses.

– Importance of data and supply chain transparency.

Plastic Packaging Tax explained

The UK government has confirmed its plans to introduce a new Plastic Packaging Tax from April 2022, with the aim of encouraging greater use of recycled plastic and to help tackle plastic packaging waste. The new tax will be delivered separately to the reform of the producer responsibility regulations, but the government believes that the two will complement each other and will provide businesses with the right incentives to recognise the impact of decisions around plastic packaging. They also hope it will drive the development – and use of – more sustainable packaging.

The tax is expected to have a significant impact on businesses, with around 20,000 producers and importers affected across a wide range of industries, including retail, construction and manufacturing.

The new tax will cover packaging that is either produced in the UK, or imported into the UK market. Imported packaging will be liable for the tax, whether it is filled or unfilled (i.e. with product in it). The tax does not apply to any packaging that has more than 30 per cent recycled content, or any packaging that is not predominantly plastic by weight. Following the consultation held in 2019, there will now be an exemption from the requirement to pay the tax for any business that manufactures or imports less than 10 tonnes of packaging in a 12-month period. This is to ensure that the smallest businesses are not “disproportionately impacted”, and that the administrative burden and cost of collecting the tax are proportionate to the environmental harms the tax seeks to address.

Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you to prepare for the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax.

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