Plastics Packaging Tax – Have Your Say

3 Jun 2020

In this year’s Budget, the UK Government announced key decisions it has taken regarding the design of the plastic packaging tax, due to come into force in April 2022. Following stakeholder responses to the previous consultation in 2019, to which IOM3 responded, it was announced that the tax will apply at a rate of £200 per tonne of plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. The tax will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK, and the scope has been extended from the previous policy proposal to include imported filled plastic packaging, rather than just imports of unfilled plastic packaging.

Businesses that manufacture or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging in a 12-month period will be exempt and the consultation seeks views about how this will operate in practice, including estimating and monitoring tonnage. The government is also considering whether a narrow exemption for the immediate packaging of licensed human medicines is necessary and is inviting views on its feasibility and whether this would cause any market distortion or other unintended consequences.

The definition of ‘plastic’ has been revised to remove the ‘main structural component’ test and limits the exclusion to cellulose-based polymers. The consultation also invites views on the definition of ‘packaging’ and proposes that packaging used to transport imported goods should not be included in the scope of the tax.

The consultation document contains information about the above proposals and seeks views on these and other aspects of the plastic packaging tax. There are key questions around the design, implementation and administration of the tax that require further consideration and, as always, the devil is in the detail. 

To share your views, knowledge and expertise and contribute to the IOM3 response to this consultation, please contact