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Government to introduce tax on plastics in packaging in new Budget to ‘tackle scourge of plastic waste’

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has outlined the government’s plans to increase taxes on pollution, with the introduction of a new tax on plastic packaging.

From April 2022, manufacturers and importers will be charged £200 per tonne on packaging made of anything less than 30 per cent recycled plastic. It’s part of the government’s plans to deliver on its manifesto promise.

“To tackle the scourge of plastic waste, we will deliver our manifesto promise to introduce a new plastics packaging tax,” said Sunak, who also claimed that the move would increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40 per cent.

On top of this, from April 2022, the Chancellor said that he would be freezing the levy on electricity and raising it on gas.

“I will support the most energy-intensive industries to transition to net zero, by extending the climate change agreements scheme for a further two years,” he said. 

Providing more detail on the scheme, the Treasury explained that the £200 a tonne rate would apply to “the production and importation of plastic packaging” and would be subject to review.

It said: “The government will keep the level of the rate and threshold under review to ensure that the tax remains effective in increasing the use of recycled plastic. The government will also extend the scope of the tax to the importation of filled plastic packaging and apply a minimum threshold of 10 tonnes of plastic packaging to ensure the smallest businesses are not disproportionately impacted.”

The budget also includes an additional £700,000 to establish the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, one designed to encourage producers to make their packaging more recyclable and reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging in their products.”

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