Plastic packaging tax to be introduced in the UK

By Lauren Heath-Jones

Coming into effect on April 1, 2022, a new Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) will be applied to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK, that does not contain a minimum of 30 per cent recycled plastic. 

The new tax will see companies that produce or import more than 10 tonnes of either filled or empty plastic packaging over a 12-month period pay £200 tax on every tonne of packaging made from less than 30 per cent recycled plastic. 

The tax will be applied to plastic packaging, defined as packaging that is predominately plastic by weight, and single-use products made for consumer use and contain any commodity or waste. 

The tax will be applied to hair and beauty primary packaging such as bottles, jars and tubes

In terms of hair and beauty the tax will be applied to primary packaging; such as bottles, jars and tubes, as well as dispensers; including pumps, nozzles and sprays, and tamper seals or caps. Secondary packaging; such as gift packs, boxes and VacTrays, and distribution materials including polybags and overbags will also be taxable. 

The British Beauty Council (BBC) held a virtual meeting with the Treasury to discuss the new legislation and what it means for the beauty industry.

The tax will be calculated per plastic packaging component, for example, in the case of glass jars with plastic lids, the lid will be treated as a separate component.

In the UK supply chain, the tax will be applied in the first instance to the packaging manufacturer but there is a secondary liability clause, meaning that if the tax is not paid by the manufacturer it can be passed down to other stakeholders in the supply chain, such as the product manufacturer or brand owner.

All businesses will have to record several data points including the weight of plastic packaging they produce

Businesses will not be liable for PPT if they produce or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging in a 12-month period, if their plastic packaging contains 30 per cent or more recycled plastic, or if their packaging is made of multiple materials, of which plastic is not proportionately the heaviest when measured by weight – for example, a plastic-coated aluminium tube. 

Plastics exempt from PPT include those used in the immediate packaging of licensed human medicines and transit packaging used to wrap imported goods, such as pallet wrap. 

New PPT requirements mean that any business that manufactures plastic packaging, exempt or not, will be required to register and record several data points, including the total amount in weight and a breakdown of the materials used to manufacture the packaging.

Be informed...

Head to the government website below to find out more about the Plastic Packaging Tax

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