What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) will be a tax on plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, where the plastic used in its manufacture contains less than 30% recycled plastic. Where 30% or more recycled plastic is used, no tax will be due, but the plastic packaging will still need to be reported to HMRC.

The tax will come into effect from 1st April 2022 and will apply to any affected product completed from this date. The rate of tax will be £200 per metric tonne.

It will not apply to any plastic packaging which contains at least 30% recycled plastic, or any packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight or exported outside the UK.

The tax is aimed at creating demand for increased recycled content and minimising unnecessary plastic usage with potential to divert plastics from landfill or incineration, and drive recycling technologies within the UK.

A plastic packaging component is chargeable for Plastic Packaging Tax when it’s finished. A component is finished when it has undergone its last substantial modification unless the pack-fill of the product takes place at a different time from the last substantial modification. You will need to notify us if you believe you will be making a substantial change to the plastic we supply you as you will then be liable for paying the HMRC directly and not Roberts Mart, for example if you are not pack-filling at the same time as you convert our reel into a bag.

The last substantial modification is the last manufacturing process that makes a significant change to the nature of the packaging component, as it alters one of the following characteristics of the packaging component:

  • shape
  • structure
  • thickness
  • weight

Not all manufacturing processes are substantial modifications. More information on this can be found here in section 2.4: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/get-your-business-ready-for-the-plastic-packaging-tax/further-information-for-businesses

Am I liable to pay the tax for the packaging we buy from Roberts Mart?

Indirectly yes, where it applies, we will charge you the £200 per tonne on each delivery where the tax comes into force. If your film you buy from us contains 30% or more recycled plastic content then the tax will not apply. We would need to confirm this with you on an item-by-item level prior to the tax becoming enforceable.

Will we need to register for the tax?

You must register for Plastic Packaging Tax if you import or produce 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging over a 12-month period, even if all the packaging you produce, or import contains 30% or more recycled plastic.

The tax comes into effect on 1 April 2022 and you must tell HMRC you are liable to register by 30 April 2022. We expect more information about how to do this to be provided later in the year. You must include all plastic packaging manufactured or imported, including packaging:

  • used in the immediate packaging of a medicinal product
  • components that are permanently designated or set aside for use other than a packaging use
  • containing 30% or more recycled plastic content when calculating whether you manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging

Where can I find out more information on the Plastic Tax?

You can check for updates and more information on the Government website on the following link:

Alternatively, if you have any queries about the content of this guidance you can email the following team; indirecttaxdesign.team@hmrc.gov.uk.

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