Plastic Packaging Tax is almost upon us, but much of the detail is still unconfirmed. George Atkinson Policy Manager at IEMA Corporate partner Valpak Limited explains.


The introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax – the first of a number of packaging reform initiatives to be phased in across the UK over the coming years – may now be less than five months away. We know that by 1 April 2022, manufacturers will be required to include 30 per cent recycled plastic into packaging products or pay the tax, but many of the crucial terms underpinning the regulations are still undefined. At the same time, many of the questions raised by industry remain unanswered.

Whilst launched with good intentions, HMRC’s latest, month-long ‘technical’ consultation on the content of updated draft regulations have done little to allay concerns. There remains significant worry over the potential inability of manufacturers to use chemically-recycled plastic to meet the all-important 30% recycled content threshold. At the same time, we still don’t know how forensically HMRC will expect businesses to check supplier documentation or claims of recycled content, and or which business is to be considered the liable importer of plastic packaging.

It is generally believed that the better-informed policymakers are, the more effective legislation they devise. Hopefully, this technical consultation has provided stakeholders with a crucial chance to highlight potential incompatibilities between the provisions within the legislation and what is practicable and achievable for affected businesses, at reasonable cost.

Until points of clarity are received, however, industry efforts to achieve critical concessions within, and alterations to, HMRC’s newest green levy will continue well into Quarter 1.

To hear about Valpak’s Plastic Packaging Tax service, contact us at [email protected].

Please note: the views expressed in this blog are those of the contributing individual, and are not necessarily representative of the views of IEMA or any professional institutions with which IEMA is associated.

Photo of Thumbnail George Atkinson
George Atkinson

Policy Manager, Valpak, Valpak

George is responsible for keeping the Valpak membership up to date with the latest developments in producer responsibility policy, covering Valpak’s waste packaging, electricals and batteries compliance schemes. He also coordinates Valpak’s official responses to government policy consultations on a range of issues concerning the resources & waste sector, and frequently engages with wider industry and government to promote effective producer responsibility policymaking.