Plastic Packaging Tax

Discover the Plastic Packaging Tax and how it impacts your business.
Plastic Tax

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

In April 2022, the UK Government introduced the Plastic Packaging Tax to encourage businesses to use recycled plastics in packaging that is manufactured in or imported to the UK.

The tax applies to plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content. In 2022, businesses were taxed at a rate of £200 per tonne. This rate has increased annually, reaching £217.85 per tonne in 2024.

Why was the Plastic Packaging Tax put in place?

The policy aims to provoke ecological change by encouraging greater use of recycled plastic which in turn tackles our increasing plastic waste problem.

Currently, 42% of all plastics placed on the market are packaging. By incorporating more recycled plastic content in packaging, businesses can reduce their carbon impact, contribute to a circular economy to enhance supply chains and help to replenish our Earth’s raw resources.

How much tax must be paid?

Previously, UK manufacturers were taxed at a rate of £200 per tonne. However, due to this rate increasing on an annual basis, this tax amount now sits at £217.85 per tonne as of 2024.

Who is exempt from paying the tax?

Businesses are exempt from paying the tax if they manufacture or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging in a 12 month period.

What does the future look like for the Plastic Packaging Tax Policy?

As the UK is under pressure to achieve its Net Zero targets by 2050, policies like the Plastic Packaging Tax are likely to become stricter, enforcing higher recycled content percentages and increasing penalties to promote economic growth and reduce carbon emissions.

Veolia worker in front of a wall of plastic


Resource The Future

This Plastic Packaging Tax Report explores the investment, infrastructure and jobs that could be created by stimulating the end markets for recycled content and building a strong, sustainable domestic recycling industry.


How Can Veolia Support You?

Compliance Guidance: Veolia offers plastic packaging audits to help businesses navigate environmental regulations, ensure up-to-date compliance and avoid costly penalties.

Packaging Optimisation: Veolia can identify opportunities to optimise packaging, materials, and processes, reducing the reliance on non-recyclable plastics.

Recycling and Waste Management: Veolia has modern Material Recovery Facilities and an impressive global network offering, helping businesses to efficiently manage their plastic waste streams to promote their sustainable future.

Sustainable Procurement: Veolia has UK-based facilities and global expertise to ensure businesses can achieve sustainable plastic packaging and higher recycling rates.

Continuous Improvement: Veolia works in partnership with businesses to ensure they are compliant, maintain a long-term competitive edge and strategise sustainable business growth.

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How Can We Help?

Find out more about how we can support your business. Our experts are always on hand to deal with your request.