Plastic packaging tax

4 March 2022 / Insight posted in Article

A new UK tax on plastic packaging will come into force on 1 April 2022.

The tax will apply to businesses that have manufactured, or imported into the UK, at least 10 tonnes of plastic packaging components within the prior 12 months (but not considering any period prior to 1 April 2022, when the tax is introduced), or that will do so in the next 30 days.

Plastic packaging will be within the scope of the tax if it is designed to be suitable for use in the supply chain (e.g. trays or pots for holding and protecting food), or if it is designed for single use by the consumer (e.g. plastic bags and disposable cups). Where a component of packaging is made from multiple materials, it will be classified as plastic – and so within the scope of the rules – if it contains more plastic by weight than any other individual material.

The tax will only apply to plastic packaging components that contain less than 30% recycled plastic. Components with 30% or more recycled plastic will not give rise to tax but will still need to be taken into account in determining whether the ten tonne threshold has been met.

The tax will be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne.

Businesses within the scope of the tax will need to register within 30 days of becoming liable, with tax being due on all relevant plastics either manufactured or imported from that date. Returns will need to be prepared for each calendar quarter and submitted to HMRC – with the associated tax being paid – by the last working day of the following month.

There are further detailed provisions, so if you require any further advice or assistance, please contact Andrew Constable.