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Circular Plastics UK
28 September 2021
The Plastic Packaging Tax UK

We have listed the Plastic Packaging Tax UK in keypoints.

What will change?

  • Producers and importers have to pay ¬£200 per tonne of plastic packaging‚Ķ
    • if the packaging is not made of at least 30% recycled plastic, or
    • if the packaging does not largely consist of recycled plastic in terms of weight.
  • Penalties may be imposed if you fail to meet your tax obligations or fail to keep proper records of your plastic production or import.
  • The following products are excluded from the tax:
    • plastic packaging made of at least 30% recycled plastic;
    • packaging that does not consist largely of plastic by weight;
    • packaging of medicines;
    • transport packaging for imported goods;
    • packaging for transport by plane, ship or train;
    • parts that are permanently used for purposes other than packaging (such as CD covers and first aid kits).

To whom does this tax apply?

It applies to:

  • UK manufacturers who produce plastic packaging;
  • companies exporting goods wrapped in plastic or plastic packaging (or parts thereof) to the UK;
  • companies purchasing plastic-wrapped products from the UK and importing them.
  • Exception: producers and importers of less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year do not need to pay this tax, but they still have to register their production, use and import or export of plastic.


  • The Plastic Packaging Tax will take effect on April 1, 2022.

How does it work?

  • You must register how much plastic packaging you make or export or import, as proof of how much you have to pay (or as proof that you don’t have to pay at all).
  • You need to know exactly which part of a packaging consists of recycled plastic.
  • Any company that imports more than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year to the UK must register for the Plastic Packaging Tax. This even applies for companies whose packaging consists of 30% or more recycled material.

Why this regulation?

  • This tax encourages companies to use more recycled plastic in their production of plastic packaging.
  • This measure is expected to increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by about 40%. This will save approximately 200,000 tons of carbon in total in 2022 and 2023.

Source: Crowe and GOV.uk


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