Plastic Packaging Tax takes effect

The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) came into place on 1st April 2022 – here, the British Independent Retailers Consortium (bira) explains what you need to do and how it could affect your business.

The plastic packaging tax has been introduced to provide an incentive for businesses to use recycled materials in plastic packaging. The goal of this tax is to create a demand for recycled materials which will, in turn, stimulate higher levels of recycling, diverting it from landfills.

The tax will only be implemented on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic and applies to packaging that has been produced in and exported to the UK. It is important to note that the tax will be applied whether the packaging is unfilled or filled.

The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) has spent the past couple of years helping to prepare members for the tax – read more about their initiatives here.

Will Bricks & Mortar stores be affected by the tax?

If you manufacture or import plastic packaging you must check if you are liable for PPT. You have 30 days to register for the tax from the date you become liable.

This means as a Brick and Mortar shop you will most likely be buying items that require packaging materials to ensure product safety, or you could buy packaging materials such as carrier bags or for products that need posting. If this is the case, you will need to register 30 days after the 1st of April 2022. You will not need to file a PPT or pay any tax before July 2022.

If the materials in both instances are plastic and are made up of at least 30% recycled plastic, you will not be affected by the tax. If however, the materials contain less than 30% or no recycled plastics, you will be affected by the tax.

Important information:

Check if you need to register for the Plastic Packaging Tax here

Nobody will need to file a PPT return or pay the tax before July ‌‌2022 at the earliest, however you may need to register before this point

PPT has a 10-tonne registration threshold and there are two tests to check if you need to register. You must register for PPT on GOV.uk if you have manufactured or imported 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging since 1 April 2022, or if you expect to manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes in the next 30 days. The guidance gives further information on what plastic packaging you must include against the 10-tonne threshold

Worked examples of passing both threshold tests are on GOV‌.uk at examples of tests and calculations for Plastic Packaging Tax

Plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic is taxed at £200 per tonne. If you are over the registration threshold and already include 30% or more recycled plastic material in your plastic packaging, you still need to register but will not pay any tax

Once you become liable for PPT, you will need to keep accounts and records to use as evidence when you complete your quarterly tax returns for PPT

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