Tax on plastic packaging should be set at £150 per tonne, says report

Imperial College London has released a report recommending that UK Government’s proposed tax on plastic packaging with less than 30 per cent recycled content should be set at £150 (€164.50) per tonne, to provide an incentive for producers to use recycled content in their packaging.

The government announced plans for the introduction of a ‘plastics tax’ as part of last year’s Autumn Statement, proposing that a tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging with less than 30 per cent recycled content will be introduced from April 2022. Revenue from the tax will be invested into tackling the issue of single-use plastics.

The £150 figure is based on an estimation that the price difference between recycled and virgin plastic is currently around £500 (€548) per tonne. The minimum tax level would therefore need to be £150 per tonne to make costs similar between using 100 per cent virgin plastic packaging and packaging with a minimum of 30 per cent recycled content.