The Plastic Packaging Tax: Coming April 2022

Last updated: 6/10/20

The Plastic Packaging Tax

Any packaging in UK that contains less than 30% recycled plastic.

Packaging for licensed medicines (but not for medical equipment.)

Businesses producing or importing less than 10 metric tons of packaging.

Food packaging is NOT exempt!

This is subject to confirmation, but we believe the tax will be in the region of £200 per ton.

Currently, it is the first business to commercialise the packaging or film in the UK.

Below are some specific examples:

  • If you produce and sell plastic film for packaging, you will need to pay the tax.
  • If you import and sell unfinished plastic film for packaging, you will need to pay the tax.
  • If you import prefilled goods in finished packaging to sell on the UK market, you will need to pay the tax.

This multiple tax point approach may change. It could potentially disadvantage UK producers and make it difficult to reclaim taxes when exporting.

If you pay the tax but the final packaging is exported, the tax can be claimed back. However, only the original tax payer will be able to reclaim.

This is currently under review as it could disadvantage UK exporters.

Currently, under a proposed registered export premises (REP) scheme, if you have evidence to confirm that materials will be sold outside of the UK, you will be able to defer the tax.

This will require collaboration throughout the supply chain.

This is not confirmed, but the following criteria may be used to assess whether packaging contains sufficient recycled content to be exempt:

  • Product specifications
  • Supply contracts
  • Production certificates and certificates of conformity
  • Business accounting systems
  • Accreditations and international standards
  • Quality assurance audits


Only material that has been treated at a separate facility will count as recycled plastic. However, both pre-consumer and post-consumer waste will be counted as recycled.

Please note: the regulation has not yet been finalised & the information provided has been taken from initial consultations. Please check back regularly for more updates.

Further information can be found by visiting the Government’s website, alternatively you can email us: and our team will be happy to answer any questions you have.