Are you concerned or confused about how the new UK Plastic Packaging Tax will affect your business? Or are you looking to adapt your packaging strategy ahead of its introduction? If so, we have made it easy to get to grips with PPT with our handy FAQs. 

Q. What is the UK Plastic Packaging Tax and when will it come into force?

The UK Plastic Packaging Tax is set to be introduced from 1 April 2022, and aims to incentivise the use of recycled materials in the production of plastic packaging.

Q. Will my business and/or supply chain be affected by the new legislation?

A variety of businesses will be impacted both directly and indirectly by PPT, including those who import products/goods in plastic packaging, plastic packaging manufacturers and businesses selling goods in plastic packaging.

Q. How much will PPT cost?

The tax will apply at a rate of £200/tonne on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled materials. Those exceeding the 30% recycled content will not be charged plastic tax.

Q. Who pays the tax?

The responsibility for paying the plastic tax will largely fall to importers of filled or unfilled plastic packaging, along with UK manufacturers of plastic packaging. However, the tax will only apply if the business places more than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging onto the UK market.

If your business has placed more than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging onto the UK market within the last 12 months, you will need to register with HMRC. If you do not meet the tax requirements, HMRC recommends that you should keep records to demonstrate this.

Q. How do I know how much to pay?

We would recommend knowing the weights for all plastic packaging placed onto the UK market, which will provide you with a strong idea of how much PPT will cost for your business.

Q. Will plastic packaging used during the transportation of goods fall under PPT?

The latest guidance states that plastic packaging used to import goods into the UK will not be chargeable for the tax. However, if your business uses plastic packaging to transport goods or products within the UK, this will be chargeable if it does not contain 30% recycled content.

Q. If 30% recycled content can’t be used in all packaging, such as within the food industry, will this be exempt?

There is no exemption within the tax for materials which do not contain 30% recycled content. However, it is hoped that the tax will incentivise continued investment and innovation to increase the use of recycled content across the packaging industry.

Q. Do I have to submit information for packaging which contains over 30% recycled content?

You still have to register and submit data for plastic packaging, even if it meets the recycled content requirements, or if you are exempt. It is therefore important that you keep evidence and records to provide your packaging does not fall into the tax bracket.

Q. What happens with packaging made with more than one material?

If your packaging is made of majority plastic, by weight, the weight of the entire packaging component will be subject to the tax.

Q. What items are in the scope of PPT?

HMRC has provided a list containing examples of packaging designed for use at any stage in the supply chain from the manufacturer, to the user or consumer, which are subject to the tax.

These include bottles designed for single use or to protect produce, such as films around raw meat, as well as single use plastics such as plastic bags and disposable cups. Examples of items that do not meet this definition and are not subject to the tax include food storage boxes designed to be reused such as lunch boxes, plastic cutlery and lightbulbs.

Q. I want to increase the use of recycled content within my materials and/or change my packaging, what options are available?

There are plenty of packaging options available which adhere to the new tax guidelines, i.e. containing more than 30% recycled content. If you would like to find out more about the options available, contact the TEC Packaging team by phoning 01752 696330 or emailing sales@tecpackaging.co.uk.