What does the Plastic Packaging Tax mean for me?
An important change in the UK packaging industry, is the introduction on the 1 st April, of plastic
packaging tax (PPT) by the UK Government. This will affect business customers of manufacturers and
importers of plastic packaging as well as consumers so this article is a brief primer on what it is, how
it works and how Universal Bags and Packaging can offer you alternatives which are exempt of the
What is the tax and who will be affected?
The aim of PPT is to encourage greater use of recycled material in the production of plastic
packaging. It is hoped that this will create increased recycling levels and collection of plastic waste
and reduce the amount of plastic materials going to incineration and landfill.
PPT has a broad scope and will impact a wide range of businesses. Some of the sectors likely to be
impacted the most are: consumer goods, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, food and drink and industrial
manufacturing to name a few.
How does it work?
This tax will apply at a rate of £200 per tonne on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled
plastic. It will apply to goods manufactured in the UK, as well as packaging on goods which are
imported into the UK. This means that if packaging doesn’t meet a minimum of 30% recycled plastic,
they will be taxed. If a business exceeds a threshold of 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per annum,
further charges will apply.
What do businesses need to do?
Any business that imports plastic packaging, products contained in plastic packaging, or that
manufactures plastic packaging in the UK, will be liable to register for PPT.
Businesses can register for Plastic Packaging Tax via the government gateway, where they can also
find a full list of the details required to do so.
How can Universal Bags and Packaging help you in relation to PPT?
Universal Packaging have been experts in used Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBC) bulk
bags and Octabins since 1990. We can supply you with a wide range of recycled FIBC bags, from sizes
up to 2m high and up to 1.5 tonnes weight. These bags are made with more than 30% recycled
plastic and so are exempt of PPT.
By switching to FIBC bags, you may stand to save money. What’s more, recycled FIBC bags can be
used in various industries including chemical, construction, manufacturing, agricultural and feed
trades. Bulk bags are an ideal packaging solution for the easy filling, discharging, storing and
transporting of materials such as aggregates, logs and granules.
Alternatively, you can substitute your plastic packaging for Octabins. These are standardized
containers of large dimensions, made of thick corrugated cardboard. We’ve written elsewhere about
their benefits but in relation to PPT, they would be exempt of the tax.
Our pledge to plastic recycling didn’t start on 1 st April; we’ve been dedicated to this agenda for
decades and wrote elsewhere about our commitment to recycling and protecting the environment.
For further information on how used FIBC bag and Octabins can help your business avoid PPT, please
contact us today.