Cromwell Polythene, which supplies products for the capture and containment of materials for recycling, has launched a ‘Countdown to the Plastic Packaging Tax’ campaign. This is designed to help businesses and their suppliers prepare for this new policy.
From the 1 April 2022, this new tax of £200 per metric tonne will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK which contains less than 30% recycled plastic.
Although Cromwell has previously highlighted that this tax may have unintended consequences of generating more packaging waste, the aim of the policy is to encourage the use of, and increase demand for, recycled plastic within packaging.
Final guidance is due from the government later this year, once the legislation currently going through parliament becomes law, however the following five key steps are a solid starting point:
1) Record keeping
Businesses should keep records of the packaging they manufacture or import, showing the weight and proportion of recycled plastic content of packaging, even if it contains more than 30%. Your suppliers and manufacturers will still need to maintain records showing they are below the tax threshold.
For packaging that contains multiple materials, suppliers and manufacturers must record all these, including weights used in the manufacturing process, to demonstrate that plastic is not the main material overall and not liable for the tax.
If you are a business that supplies recycled plastic, your business customers may want more information from you about the types and quantities of material you supply to them.
2) Prepare for changes to invoice systems
If you are responsible for accounting for the tax as an importer or manufacturer of plastic packaging then any invoice you issue to a business customer must show a statement that Plastic Packaging Tax has been paid on the packaging concerned.
It’s not clear yet what form this statement should take, but responsible suppliers should be ready to make the necessary changes via their invoicing software and explain the changes to customers. Customers should be encouraged to make sure their suppliers have fulfilled their responsibilities, as they could find themselves liable to pay tax if they haven’t.
3) Prioritise plastic packaging containing at least 30% recycled plastics
Cromwell Polythene, and many within the plastics packaging industry, already provide a high level of recycled content in products. In fact, in many cases, responsibly produced plastic can have a high recycled content of up to 100 per cent. Cromwell’s UK manufacturing and recycling division, CPR Manufacturing, helps customers in diverse industry sectors, including uPVC profile extrusions, carpet and textiles, roofing and guttering, and disposable products, to meet their sustainability goals.
4) Choose suppliers who meet industry standards
Cromwell already work to ensure that recycling, and processing of polythene, meets recognised industry and customer standards, including the use of EUCertPlast certified materials. This recognises the highest standards of material traceability, process control and quality of the recycled content in the end-product. This enables virgin plastic to be replaced with recycled materials through successful trials in a variety of industry sectors.
As a member of the British Plastics Federation, Cromwell also supports WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact which aims to eliminate all avoidable plastic packaging waste and make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable, recycled, or compostable, by 2025.
5) Go the extra sustainable mile
To support businesses, Cromwell provides a Polythene Recovery Service to its customers. Recovered material is recycled at its CPR Manufacturing site, based in Derbyshire, and extruded into more film, increasing the recycled content of the factory’s output. Benefits for customers include free collection of recyclable plastic packaging, reduction of waste disposal costs and regular reporting of packaging returns. This service saves virgin materials in line with the principles of the circular economy and reducing landfill.
You should check current government guidance about the Plastic Packaging Tax, available here, which will updated later this year. The four exemptions from the tax are plastic packaging for medical products; transport packaging used on imported goods; packaging for aircraft, ship, and rail; and components that are permanently designated or set aside for use other than packaging.
For more information about Cromwell Polythene and its sister operation, CPR Manufacturing, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01977 686868 or visit www.cromwellpolythene.co.uk
More about Cromwell Polythene
Leeds-based Cromwell Polythene specialises in the supply and distribution of polythene products, which are produced wherever possible from recycled materials. These include waste and recycling sacks; bin liners; clinical waste sacks; kerbside recovery bags; food-grade polythene and grip seal bags; woven polypropylene sacks; personal protective equipment; polythene film; sheeting and tubing; compostable sacks; and made-to-order products.
The company provides a full range of products to the waste management sector; local authorities; healthcare; the janitorial industry; the packaging market; and to industrial and consumer end-users. Cromwell Polythene is committed to supplying best value, fit-for-purpose products with the lowest environmental impact for a net ecological gain.