Autumn Statement: Plastics tax to be introduced from April 2022

The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed that the UK will introduce a tax on the manufacture or import of plastic packaging containing less than 30 per cent recycled plastic, although no levy will be placed on disposable coffee cups.

There were offerings for the resources and waste industry, with Hammond announcing a tax would be placed on the manufacture or import of plastics containing less than 30 per cent recycled content, while £10 million (€11.3 million) will be put aside to deal with abandoned waste sites. It was also confirmed that reform of the packaging producer responsibility system would take place from the end of the year.

However, a proposed tax on disposable coffee cups – dubbed the ‘latte levy’ – will not be implemented, with the Chancellor saying he was not convinced that it would achieve the desired shift from disposable to reusable.

Regarding departmental funding, while the total capital budgets for government departments will increase from £63.7 billion (€71.95 billion) in 2018/19 to £80.1 billion (€90.5 billion) in 2020/21, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will see no additional funding in that time, with its capital budget frozen at £600 million (€677.7 billion) for each financial year. In fact, Defra’s departmental resource budget will be reduced from £1.6 billion (€1.81 billion) to £1.5 billion (€1.69 billion) between 2018/19 and 2019/20.