How will the UK’s new plastic packaging tax affect you?

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Here’s a quick introduction to the new charges coming into effect for manufacturers and importers of plastic products.

Did you know that the government is bringing in a new plastic packaging tax (PPT) on some plastic items that have been manufactured in, or imported into, the UK?

From 1st April 2022, manufacturers or importers will need to pay £200 for every metric tonne of plastic packaging on finished products – unless it contains at least 30% recycled plastic.

(In case you were wondering, “plastic packaging” means packaging that is mostly plastic by weight.)

As you can imagine, the measure is going to convince many businesses to invest more heavily in environmentally friendly products and processes, for cost reasons as well as CSR considerations. The government is hoping that the tax will create a greater demand for recycled materials and keep more plastic waste out of landfill and away from incinerators.

Are any products exempt from PPT?

This is where things get a little bit complicated.

Single use packaging products will fall under the tax scheme, as will products that can be used to contain commodities or waste. So, you can expect the price of things like plastic carrier bags, plastic cups, nappy sacks, bin liners and disposable cups to rise, based on the extra charges that businesses will need to pay when they create or provide them.

Packaging that already contains goods – such as plastic bottles filled with liquid – might be subject to the tax, although there will be some exclusions: the charges will not be levied on storage products such as glasses cases or DVD cases, or items where the plastic makes up an integral part of the goods, such as printer cartridges and tea bags. Manufacturers and importers also will not have to pay PPT on shop fixtures, POS stands, and other items that are designed to present goods.

Businesses that import less than 10 tonnes or less of plastic packaging per year will not need to pay the tax, either.

You can read all about the new tax on the Gov.uk website.

Will the tax hike affect our products and fees?

If you’re worried about increased prices as a result of these new regulations, don’t be. At Hallmark, we already make sure all our mailers are created using 100% recycled materials. Nothing much is going to change from our perspective – and you certainly won’t be asked to pay anymore for your branded mailing bags and custom shipping bags due to the PPT.

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