Introduction of a new plastic packaging tax (GOV.UK)

General description of the measure

This is a new tax that applies to plastic packaging produced in, or imported into, the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. Plastic packaging is packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight.

It will not apply to any plastic packaging which contains at least 30% recycled plastic, or any packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight.

Imported plastic packaging will be liable to the tax, whether the packaging is unfilled or filled.

The government has recently held a consultation on the design and implementation of the tax, using stakeholder engagement and feedback to help inform the tax design. The government is now publishing the summary of responses and draft primary legislation for technical consultation.

Policy objective

The tax will provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging, which will create greater demand for this material. In turn this will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.

Background to the measure

At Budget 2017, the government announced a call for evidence into using the tax system or charges to tackle single-use plastic waste and received 162,000 responses.

At Budget 2018, a new tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic was announced. The government launched a consultation in February 2019 seeking input on the initial proposals for the design of the tax. A summary of responses was published in July 2019.

At Budget 2020, the government announced key decisions on the design of the tax, and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launched a consultation on the more detailed design and implementation of the tax.

The TIIN on the tax published at Budget on 11 March 2020 is superseded by this note. 

Continue reading further on the Government of UK website.