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The plastic packaging tax: how it works

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A new environmental tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic content that is manufactured in, or imported into, the UK will be introduced in the UK from 1 April 2022. The rate of tax will be £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging and will affect manufacturers or importers and their supply chains. There are potential civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance, and the government hopes the tax will lead to an increase in the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40%, which is equivalent to 200,000 tonnes of carbon savings in 2022 to 2023. It remains to be seen whether the tax will bring about environmentally beneficial changes or merely swell the Treasury’s coffers.

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