Industry critical as EU set to introduce plastics tax

An EU plastics tax, which is set to be introduced from January 2021, has been announced by the European Council as part of its €750-billion coronavirus recovery fund agreement.
The European Council has announced a levy of €0.80 per kilogramme, or €800 per tonne of non-recycled plastic packaging waste, to be paid by EU member states into the general budget. All member states will be expected to make a national tax contribution based on the weight of non-recycled plastic packaging produced each year. However, the announcement has raised concerns among members of the trade association for European plastics converters (EuPC). Alexandre Dangis, Managing Director of EuPC, explained: “As the revenues of the EU plastic tax are not earmarked to be invested into the waste and recycling infrastructure, it will not increase the recycling of plastic waste in Europe.
“Instead, it will further increase the cost of plastic recycling and encourage the shift to other packaging materials with a bigger environmental impact. To truly increase recycling rates across Europe and protect the environment, taxation of the landfilling of plastic packaging waste would be more efficient.”
The plastics tax comes as part of the European Commission’s Recovery Plan for Europe, published in May, which reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to a circular economy transition after the Covid-19 pandemic.