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Plan ahead for the plastic packaging tax

26 March 2021

WITH A year to go until the introduction of the Government’s Plastic Packaging Tax, Southgate Packaging is urging logistics businesses to take stock and prepare now.

The tax, which is due to come into force in April 2022, will apply to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK, which does not contain at least 30 per cent recycled plastic, only excluding packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight.

The new measure is estimated to affect up to 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging and is predicted to have the highest impact on the waste and recycling sector since landfill tax was introduced.

Southgate recommends businesses start preparing immediately by collating a list of packaging containing plastic material, specifying the amount of recycled content and reviewing alternatives if needed.  

MD Craig Turner said: “This new legislation will have a huge impact yet. As we look to 2022, we are focusing on the benefits this will have not only on generating a more circular economy, but how it will help the industry align with consumer expectations, right from the start of the supply chain to the end user.”

The new tax is set to provide a clear economic incentive for businesses who are not already, to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging. In return, creating greater demand for the material and stimulating increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.

Craig added: “Recycled plastic has a carbon footprint that can be up to four times lower than that of virgin plastic, so if we are to reach the Global Climate G7 goals of achieving carbon neutral in the near future, the Plastic Packaging Tax is the first major step.

“We are committed to developing a line of alternative products and expand our range to reduce our plastic content. For example, our Carbon Neutral Air Cushions already use 53% of recycled content.”