What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?
The proposal for a Plastic Packaging Tax was first introduced as part of the Government's Resources and Waste Strategy 2018/19. The legislation will become law from 1 April 2022. The tax levy is £200 per tonne on any plastic item, defined as containing over 55% plastic (mixed content). The tax does not apply to products containing 30% recycled polymer or Post Consumer Resin (PCR).
Who does the tax apply to?
The tax itself only applies to companies who are a) producing, and b) importing plastic products.
As BlueSky is an importer of plastics, BlueSky will be subjected to the tax and will be responsible for the reporting of the relevant data required by HMRC.
How will the tax affect you?
Due to this additional tax cost, this will impact the price of products manufactured from virgin polymer.
As a result of increasing demand, the cost of PCR in many polymer types is more expensive than virgin polymer - this means that the price of plastic packaging will increase irrespective of measures taken to mitigate the tax.
You won't be responsible for reporting the weight of plastic consumed or paying the tax directly, BlueSky is responsible for this as your supplier of choice.
How does this affect recyclability of my products?
If you are currently buying a product that is made from virgin PET, PE, or PP it is widely recycled at all UK recycling facilities.
If you are purchasing the same products with PCR content, it will also still be widely recycled in the same way that the virgin material is recycled.
As virgin polymer is critical to the ongoing circular economy and creation of recycled material, you will need a label that correctly reflects the status of the packaging, and we recommend https://www.oprl.org.uk/ to help with this detail.
What else should you consider?
BlueSky has many other options that can be considered as an alternative to plastic, such as, aluminium or glass.
The plastic packaging that we supply isn't intended for single use and in many cases, it is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to transport, store and use your product. It is the way that plastic is recycled and reused that is most significant. Improvements have been made in recycling infrastructure to support the re-use of plastic in recent years.
We support the development of sustainable and recyclable packaging, and we can help you create a pack (bottle and closure) that is 100% recyclable.
BlueSky will advise against compostable packaging as this is not recyclable and often ends up being burnt, creating further environmental issues. It has also been suggested that micro plastics are entering the water systems due to additives being used to aid biodegradability, and this does not resolve the issue or support a circular economy.
Finally, always consider the 4 R's.
Can you Remove any plastic from your range?
Can you Reduce the amount of plastic you currently use? Consider the weight of the packaging that you currently use.
Can you Reuse the plastic packaging within your range? Consider refill packaging.
Can you Recycle the plastic packaging in your range? Are all the products you supply, recyclable within the parameters of the UK recycling system?
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific requirements: