Introduction of a new plastic packaging tax

On 12 November, HMRC published a policy paper on the introduction of a new plastic packaging tax. This will affect UK producers of plastic packaging, importers of plastic packaging, business customers of producers and importers of plastic packaging, and consumers who buy goods in plastic packaging in the UK.

Top lines:

  • The tax will apply to plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic and takes effect from April 2022.
  • Producers will have to pay £200 per tonne of packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.
  • The policy document states that the expected impact on businesses “will be significant and the overall impact will depend on the design of the tax”. It is expected to affect up to an estimated 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging.
  • Plastic packaging exported from the UK will not be liable for the tax and HMRC has said that transport packaging such as pallets and shrink-wrap used to import goods will also be excluded.
  • Smaller operators will be excluded. HMRC say those  “who manufacture and/or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging in a 12-month period” will not be liable for the tax.