Government confirms start date for Plastic Packaging Tax

17 May 2021

The UK government has confirmed that its plastic packaging tax (PPT) will come into force on 1 April 2022.

The PPT was announced in the Spring Budget and will be charged at a rate of £200 per metric ton of chargeable plastic packaging components of a single specification.

It will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK.

Plastic covered by the tax include bioplastics, including biodegradable, compostable and oxo-degradable plastics.

The tax will not be chargeable on plastic packaging which has 30% or more recycled plastic content, or where the packaging is made of multiple materials of which plastic is not proportionately the heaviest when measured by weight.

This includes importers of packaging which already contain goods, such as plastic bottles filled with drinks and where the imported packaging already contains other goods as the tax only applies to the plastic packaging itself.

There will be a number of exemptions, including for packaging human medicines, but the government says the list of exempt packaging will be short.

The introduction of the plastic packaging tax is designed to encourage the use of recycled rather than new plastic within plastic packaging and will in turn stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.

See gov.uk for further information.

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