UK Plastic Packaging Tax Enters Into Force

Cirplus | Circular Plastics
2 min readApr 1, 2022


From today on, the Plastic Packaging Tax is live. Let’s look at the impact and the regulation in detail.

Who is involved?

Manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging, their business customers, and end-consumers in the UK will be affected by this new Plastic Packaging Tax. Important to note, manufacturers and importers of less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year are exempted from the tax.

What are the applicable rules?

Plastic packaging is determined as “packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight”. And the new tax applies only to plastic packaging, which does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic and is manufactured in, or imported into the UK. Furthermore, the tax is applicable whether the packaging is unfilled or filled. The charging rate is £200 per tonne.

What are the impacts?

From an economic perspective, the tax is supposed to encourage businesses to use more recycled plastic in their packages. In turn, it will create greater demand and thus stimulate higher rates of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfills and incineration.

This measure is expected to have an impact on approximately 20,000 manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging. The average annual net increase in continuing administrative burden for businesses is about £0.4 million.

From the environmental perspective, it is estimated that the use of recycled plastic in packaging could increase by around 40%. This is equal to carbon savings of nearly 200,000 tonnes in 2022–2023, based on current carbon factors. The policy will also drive recycling technologies within the UK.

Moreover, The UK Plastic Packaging Tax will have a considerable impact on the worldwide agenda, stimulating investments in the circular economy and transforming global supply chains. Stay tuned to see how it’s evolving!