27 Apr

Unpacking the Packaging Plastic Tax

Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) is what it says on the tin or the box in our case. On the 1st of April 2022, the UK PPT came into force, aiming to increase the recycled content in plastic packaging. This first tax of its kind is aimed to encourage the need for recycled content and help drive domestic recycling technologies, to divert plastic from landfills or incineration. The UK Government has said that the new tax could increase recycled plastic packaging by 40%.

Plastic packaging is defined as packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight and all plastic is assumed to be virgin (not recycled) unless there is supporting evidence that recycled plastic has been used.

How is the Plastic Tax Calculated?

The new PPT, will require the manufacturer or importer to pay £200 per tonne on ‘finished plastic packaging’ that doesn’t contain 30% recycled plastic in the UK. Businesses who import goods, will also be liable to pay the tax on imported plastic packaging, whether it’s filled or unfilled.

However, there are a few exemptions. If companies manufacture or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging within a year, they won’t need to pay. The same goes for plastic packaging that’s exported from the UK or if it’s used for licensed human medicines.

Plastic and Packaging

Plastic is a polymeric material that is made up of synthetic or semi-synthetic compounds. When plastic in your packaging is assessed the added compounds count. The plastic component of your packaging may have been manufactured with multiple materials but could contain more plastic by weight. This then will be classed as plastic packaging. PPT will be accountable for all packaging components, so keeping a record of your plastic packaging is key.

There are two types of packaging that can be taxed under this new legislation. Packaging that’s used in the supply chain or by a single consumer. You are only liable to pay the tax once the packaging is complete and has gone through its final modification ready to be packed or filled. When registering for PPT, you must be aware of the weight of the packaging and the percentage of recycled content.

How can Greyhound Box Help?

Protecting our planet is hugely important to us. The tax is all about moral responsibility, and we don’t just want to lead by example by offering alternatives or recycled content, but also encourage our customers too as well. In a YouGov report, 69% of us think companies should use eco-friendly packaging, even if that means prices go up.

This all could be a massive headache for you, but don’t worry because we have some solutions that can help! At Greyhound Box we have introduced as many alternative products as possible, that contain different levels of recyclability. Internally we switched to 30% recycled content wrapping, to offer to our customers before PPT came in. Our range of alternatives also includes packaging accessories such as paper tape, bubble wrap and of course cardboard!

Whilst some companies are keen to switch their packaging to greater recycled content, others are taking steps to remove unnecessary packaging. Through our packaging review service, we have been able to completely remove or reduce plastic elements in bespoke packaging. One of our customers was using foam profiles caps on the end of their internal packaging to protect their products. Our designers were able to redesign the packaging to completely eliminate all plastic components.

The introduction of the plastic packaging tax may be worrisome, but we can offer a range of environmentally friendly alternatives. Greyhound Box will strive to guide you through the packaging process, to help you not only reduce your packaging costs but reach your sustainability goals.

If you want to know more about our sustainable or recycled alternatives, get in touch.

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If you have any packaging requirements or a project you would like to discuss with us, please send us a message. We would love to hear from you.