Chancellor Rishi Sunak used today’s (11 March) Budget to announce that the tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content will come into force in April 2022, and will be set at £200 a tonne.
In the first Budget to be delivered by Boris Johnson’s majority government, Mr Sunak said the move would help tackle the “scourge” of plastics pollution and boost the use of recycle plastics by 40%.
Elsewhere, the Treasury announced £700,000 to develop IT capability to administer the future Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for packaging.
And, Mr Sunak unveiled plans to remove the tax relief on ‘polluting’ red diesel – meaning that costs will rise for many using heavy machinery in the waste and recycling sector.
Delivering his statement in the House of Commons, Mr Sunak announced a range of short-term fiscal measures to tackle coronavirus, before turning his attention to broader issues ‘to ensure prosperity in the long term”, including on the green economy.
On the subject of the plastics tax, Mr Sunak said the new tax, first announced in Budget 2018, would tackle the “scourge” of plastic in the natural environment and incentivise the use of recycled plastics.
This follows a consultation in Spring 2019 and previous suggestions that a £150/tonne level might be appropriate (see letsrecycle.com story).
Mr Sunak said: “From April 2022, we will charge manufacturers and importers £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic.”
“That will increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40% – equal to carbon savings of nearly 200,000 tonnes.”