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Plastic Packaging Tax - Summer 2022

PPT (Plastics Packaging Tax), as it is known came into effect in April 2022 and will apply a tax of £200/t on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content.

Additional guidance

The Government has published some additional guidance in their ‘Force of law guidance’ dated 21 Mar 2022 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/plastic-packaging-tax-force-of-law-guidance that clarifies a few gaps in defining what sufficient evidence might look like and what constitutes due diligence.

Sufficient evidence

“Sufficient evidence that plastic is recycled plastic for the purpose of regulation 6(1) is business records in writing (including in electronic form) that show:

  1. the origin and content of the recycled material;
  2. dates of manufacture and import of the plastic packaging components; and
  3. the proportion of the recycled plastic contained in the output materials of the recycling process.”

Due diligence

“The factors which will be taken into account in considering whether due diligence carried out is sufficient in cases of possible secondary liability will be what due diligence checks were performed, including the frequency and relevance of the checks made, the extent of the checks, what the results of the checks indicated and whether any deficiencies with the primarily liable person’s compliance were corrected in a timely manner.”

“The factors which will be taken into account in considering whether due diligence carried out is sufficient in cases of possible joint and several liability will be what due diligence checks were performed, the frequency and relevance of the checks made, the business records in writing (including in electronic form) kept of those checks, the extent of the checks, what the results of the checks indicated and whether any appropriate action was taken in response to the results of the checks.”

Guidance

Here is a link to the best guidance we have seen from HMRC (that we could not find on the .gov website) PPT FAQ Update March 2022

If you do not make or import plastic packaging, you will already be seeing prices rise for plastic packaging that you buy tangled up with the hike in oil prices!

If you make or import more than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year you will have to:

  • Register with HMRC.
  • Measure the amount of plastic packaging that you make or import.
    • NB: HMRC require accurate figures and there is no test of ‘reasonableness’ as we have with DEFRA’s producer responsibility for packaging.
    • Every piece of plastic packaging will need to be accounted for either on a mass balance approach or by sample weighing every component!
  • Additionally, companies making or importing plastic packaging will have to identify whether each component contains 30% recycled content
    • For clarity, a pop bottle is made up of three components – the bottle, the lid and the label. Each will need to be weighed and identify the recycled content.
  • There are a couple of exemptions that still count towards the 10t threshold:
    • Plastic packaging that is in direct contact with human medicines will be exempt
    • Thin plastic films used to protect products from scratches will be exempt
    • Silage film will be exempt
  • Packaging that is exempt and does not count towards the 10t threshold
    • Tertiary plastic packaging around multiple imported products will be exempt if there are several units inside the tertiary packaging
    • Packaging consumed on international journeys, unless they are subsequently imported.
  • Other packaging that is excluded:
    • Plastic packaging used for long term storage – drill cases, games boxes, CD / DVD cases, lunchboxes

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