Plastic Packaging Tax April 2022

Katie Paterson

June 16, 2021

Beginning April 2022, a plastic packaging tax will be introduced to the UK to reduce the amount of plastic waste that the UK produce. The tax is going to push businesses to use recycled plastics which will create a higher demand for recycled plastic waste, diverting it from landfills and incineration. This legislation is included in The Finance Bill 2021.

This tax applies to any plastic packaging that contains at least 30% recycled plastic, or any packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight.

The HMRC policy paper states: “Recycled plastic has a carbon footprint that can be up to four times lower than that of virgin plastic. The policy may also help to divert plastics from landfill or incineration, and drive recycling technologies within the UK.”

Imported plastics will also be liable to the tax, whether the packaging is fulfilled or unfilled.

It will affect…

- UK producers of plastic packaging

- Importers of plastic packaging

- Business customers of producers and importers of plastic packaging

Key Points

The government have outlined that the tax will be £200 per tonne of packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic. To find out if you are liable to pay the tax, register with HM Revenue & Customs.

The tax provides businesses with an economic incentive to switch to recycled packaging. We are expecting to see an increase of these recycled plastics on packaging in the next year to avoid this tax.

Individuals are not expected to be greatly impacted by this tax unless businesses pass on the charge. However, this shouldn’t cause any issues as the tax will be a very low as plastic packaging takes up a small amount of the product.

This measure is expected to impact up to an estimated 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging. One-off costs include familiarisation with the new rules, training for staff, registration with HMRC, and developing the required reporting framework to complete tax returns.


· Has 30% or more recycled plastic content

· Is made of multiple materials of which plastic is not proportionately the heaviest when measured by weight

· Is manufactured or imported for use as immediate packaging of licensed human medicines

· Is in use as transport packaging to import products into the UK

· Is exported, filled or unfilled unless it is in use as transport packaging to export products out of the UK

What is recycled plastic?

The draft legislation published November 2020 defines recycled plastics as plastics that have been reprocessed from recovered material through a chemical or manufacturing process so they can be used for its original purpose or other purposes.

How NT can help

Our Product Information Management (PIM) system Smart Supplier holds product specifications throughout its lifecycle. Smart Supplier includes packaging information in the product specs and flags when packaging doesn’t meet the 30% recycled plastic mark through KPIs.

This keeps brand owners accountable, quickly showing them the areas for improvement. Having access to this information helps you to ignite business change and avoid heavy taxations. We can help you to increase your ESG score and make accurate marketing claims.

For more information, please email

Follow our LinkedIn here