Plastic Packaging Tax | Smart Supplier

Molly Colbert

September 23, 2021

From April 2022, a new tax on plastic packaging (PPT) will be put in place in the UK.  The tax aims to urge businesses to use recycled plastic, leading to high demands for recycled plastic waste thus diverting plastic from landfills and incineration. This legislation is a part of The Finance Bill 2021.

PPT will apply to any plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled plastic and/or any products which are not primarily 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.”

Who will it affect?

-       UK producers of plastic packaging

-       Importers of plastic packaging

-       Business customers of producers and importers of plastic packaging

Exemptions from the PPT

-       Made of multiple materials of which plastic is not proportionately the heaviest when measured by weight

-       Licensed human medicines  

-       Transport packaging to import goods e.g. packaging to ensure safe transit of the goods

-       Aircraft, ship, or railway stores for international journeys, i.e. no released into the UK

-       Exported, filled, or unfilled unless it is in use as transport packaging to export products out of the UK

-       Has 30% or more recycled plastic content

Key Takeaways

The government have outlined that the tax will be £200 per tonne of packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic. Register with HRM Revenue & Customs to see if liable to pay the tax.

The tax will provide businesses with an economic incentive to switch to recycled packaging. An increase in packaging with recyclable plastic packaging will be seen within the next year to avoid the tax.

Individuals are not expected to be greatly impacted by the tax unless the business pass on the charge. However, not many issues should be caused as the tax will be a small cost as plastic only affects a small part of the product.

It is expected that an estimated 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging will be impacted. One-off costs include familiarisation with the newly implemented rules, training of staff, registration with HRMC, and developing the required reporting framework to complete tax returns.

What is recycled plastic?

In November 2020 the draft legislation was published and defined all plastics that have been reprocessed from recovered material through a chemical or manufacturing process so they can be used for their original purpose or other purposes.

How can NT help?

We offer a Product Information Management (PIM) system, Smart Supplier, which holds product specifications throughout the lifecycle. Smart Supplier includes packaging information in the product specifications and flags when the packaging has not met the 30% recycled plastic mark through KPIs.

This ensures that brand owners are held accountable, and shows the areas for improvement. Having access to this information helps ignite business changes and avoids encountering having taxations. The software can help improve ESG scores and make accurate cleaning claims.

For more information or to speak with our team, email or ring 01933 272089 📞

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Plastic packaging tax - GOV.UK (

Everything you need to know about the UK’s incoming Plastic Packaging Tax - Packaging Europe