Following the release of the HMRC statistics on the Plastic Packaging Tax (released 17 August), Andrew Thurston, Customs Duty & Indirect Tax Consultant at MHA, says while it is too early to really say whether the tax is proving effective, early analysis suggests it is failing to increase the level of recycled plastic:
“Analysis of the figures provided by HMRC confirms there is one very interesting statistic not included in the headline statistics. This relates to the percentage of packaging declared that has more than 30% recycled content.
“Apart from a sudden increase between Q1 and Q2, the percentage of the total amount of plastic packaging produced or imported that included +30% recycled content actually decreased slightly (44% to 42.6%).*
“This will be a concern to the UK Government as the intention for this tax was to change business attitudes to plastic packaging and to reduce the levels of virgin plastic in the supply chain. If this does not change then it is likely that the government will increase the tax to speed up a change in behaviour.
“Although these statistics provide a good overview of the impact of the new tax and the revenue generated, it will require another year’s data to see if the tax is making a positive impact on the reduction of virgin plastic in UK supply chains.”