All You Need to Know About Plastic Packaging Tax

on June 22, 2022
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This article was written by Irina Stucere.



The UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) came into force on 1 April 2022. Businesses producing or importing packaging made of mostly virgin plastics (i.e., if less than 30% of the plastic is recycled) will be required to pay PPT of GBP200 (US$260) per tonne.

The challenge to address the volume of single-use plastic waste took an important step forward. Amid the current climate emergency, the PPT aims to incentivise a shift towards the use of recycled plastics to create greater demand. In turn, this will help to divert excess waste away from landfill and incineration, and instead drive increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste.

Do you remember when you could easily pick a plastic bag from a shop, now we have to pay 10p! Many of us make efforts to reduce our plastic usage in some ways, but the UK has now taken steps to target manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging by introducing a new plastic packaging tax. The government has announced this purely to reduce the use of new plastics and increase plastic recycling.

So, what does the tax mean for packaging professionals who are suppliers to the food and beverage industries?

The rule is that if the entity has imported or manufactured more than 10 tonnes over the previous 12 months, it will be required to register with HMRC for PPT within 30 days. This will not apply to 2022. If an importer or manufacturer’s plastic packaging contains a high level of recycled plastic, they may still need to register and consider the implications of PPT.

Some plastic packaging will be out of the scope of the tax:

  • transport packaging on imported goods around multiple sales units
  • packaging used in aircraft, ship & rail goods stores
  • packaging used in the long term storage of goods
  • packaging that is an integral part of the goods
  • packaging that is reused in the presentation of goods


Some plastic packaging is reported, however exempt from paying the tax:

  • packaging that contains 30% or more recycled content
  • packaging that is exported outside of the UK
  • packaging in the immediate contact with human medicines
  • packaging permanently set aside for non-packaging use


What can liable businesses do next?
  1. Check if you need to keep records. Plastic packaging is assumed to not meet the recycled test unless you can demonstrate that it does.
  2. Start asking suppliers how they intend to record the recycled content of the materials they supply.
  3. Consider if you will need to create paperwork such as invoices to show a customer how much PPT has been paid.
  4. If you are liable you will need to register with HMRC.


If you need help registering for the Plastic Packaging Tax please feel free to contact our team at Outsourced ACC on 0208 249 6007.

Filed under  Business Advice • Tax 

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