Businesses that import or manufacture large amounts of plastic packaging will now be hit by a new tax.
Matt Orange, from our team in Shrewsbury and Telford, said the tax had been introduced as part of the Government’s strategy to make the UK’s economy more environmentally-friendly.
“The aim is to reduce plastic packaging waste and to encourage businesses to use recycled packaging wherever they can.
“Under the new regulations, businesses that import or manufacture more than ten tonnes of plastic packaging will need to register for the tax.
“It primarily targets single use plastics – such as carrier bags – and those for use in supply chains such as a manufacturer of yoghurt pots who then sells them to the company that produces the yoghurt.”
Matt says the tax did not apply to items that had been designed to be re-used such as food storage boxes or items where the plastic packaging is an integral part of the goods – such as printer ink cartridges.
“The tax is payable at a rate of £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging that contains less than 30 per cent recycled plastic.
“Businesses will not be taxed on plastic packaging containing at least 30% recycled plastic, but this will still count towards the overall amount they’ve accumulated.
“So if your business imports or manufactures more than ten tonnes a year – all of which contains at least 30% of recycled plastic – you will still need to register and keep clear records, even though no tax payments will be due.”
Matt says once businesses have registered for the tax, they would need to submit a return to HM Revenue and Customs every three months, and any tax payable would be due at the same time as the quarterly return.
“Take care too if you are buying plastic packaging from suppliers overseas because the responsibility for knowing the weight and composition of the packaging is firmly on the business importing it into the UK.”