Everything you need to know about the Plastic Packaging Tax

From April 2022 there is going to be tax slapped onto plastic packaging. A lot of the UK population make a considerable effort to reduce the amount of plastic we use but the government has now introduced a tax to manufacturers and importers of plastic. This wouldn’t be about the creation of revenue but more about the increased amount of plastic recycling and the reduction of new plastics.


PPT will be assessed on the certain plastic packaging that includes less than 30% recyclable plastic. The imports of products of plastic packaging such as drink bottles will be a victim of the incoming plastic tax. The green plastics such as compostable and biodegradable will also have to pay the PPT and the words recycling plastic doesn’t include organic recycling. There are a few exemptions, however, where you wouldn’t have to pay when plastic packaging is in use. A few of these include: as transport packaging for imports coming into the UK, in railway, ship, or aircraft stores as these won’t be released into the UK and most importantly licensed human medicines. Furthermore, if goods are exported within 12 months, these goods will be exempt from the Plastic Packaging Tax. The going rate of PPT will be £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging. These changes will go ahead from April 2022, and it is very possible that everyone from your local corner shop to the biggest worldwide manufacturers will be affected by PPT and although it will be levied on certain manufacturers that manufacture ten metric tonnes of plastic packaging, it is possible the cost could be passed along to the end-consumers. Under the draft legislation, it states that payment terms under previous existing contracts may be amended so that the manufacturer can pass on the PPT. there will be instances where business buy plastic packaging but the liability for non-payment of PPT can be placed upon other entities in the supply chain. Business customer will soon take large steps in verifying that a payment has been completed and government intend on publishing guidance on what constitutes the correct payment. There is also a risk that by doing this which would include business customer requiring some sort of evidence of payment or a contract assurance that a payment has been carried out by an importer or manufacturer which will increase the commercial complexity. It is crucial that it is clear whether the costs are with or without the PPT and will also ensure the invoices will need to show the correct PPT amount.



All importers and manufacturers of plastic packaging will have to sign up to the HMRC unless they produce under 10 metric tonnes within a 12-month period. If a manufacturer is expected to import at least 10 metric tonnes of plastic packaging within 30 days, they must register up to the HMRC. Businesses will also have to register if they’ve imported at least 10 metric tonnes within a 12-month period which ends on the last day of the calendar month. PPT will be put into place from the first day of the following month with registration compulsory by the first day of the subsequent month. There has been talk on creating a group PPT registration which would be where all members of a group will be held jointly and will all be liable to the PPT debts of the members of the group. Businesses affected by PPT will be subject to increased record keeping as they’ll have to maintain record to show numerous things. These include the weight of the exempted packaging and the reason for it, the data and the calculations that went along with it to determine if a product is plastic and the amount of recycled plastic used. Moreover, they will have to show the weight of the packaging as well as a breakdown of the weight used for each material used to make the packaging and the weight of the packaging being exported to calculate the relief from the tax. Businesses will still need to register and retain evidence to show that the plastic packaging threshold has been met.


There are various sanctions and penalties which are set out by the draft legislation, but all depends on the severity of the offence. For example, the failure to register with the HMRC or the failure to requisite filings, or the failure to PPT will all end up in getting a penalty. It would therefore be a good idea for imports and manufacturers of plastic packaging to consider how the PPT regime would affect them and that it may not completely be financial.

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