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The tax aims to boost the use of recyclable packaging by 40%, with charges made per tonne on packaging comprising less than 30% recycled plastic. 

In his first budget, delivered this week, Rishi Sunak outlined plans to implement a tax on plastic packaging from 2022 designed to boost the use of recyclable plastic. Sunak said: “To tackle the scourge of plastic waste, we will deliver our manifesto promise to introduce a new plastics packaging tax.”

Manufacturers and importers will be charged £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic. “That will increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40% – equal to carbon savings of nearly 200,000 tonnes,” he added.

The importation of filled plastic packaging will also be covered by the tax. The government has tried to ensure that small businesses are not disproportionately affected, outlining a minimum threshold of 10 tonnes of plastic packaging.

A recent TetraPack study revealed that 97% of UK retailers believe their customers are working to reduce their environmental impact, while the same percentage says the packaging they use is now a primary consideration when choosing a supplier.

Cosmetics companies continue to prioritise sustainability and drive change in the packaging sector and CEW will be updating members on developments in this sector regularly