Plastic packaging

What is Plastic Packaging Tax?

The UK Government is introducing a new tax on plastic packaging from 1 April 2022. This tax will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK which contains less than 30% recycled plastic.

Who will be liable to pay Plastic Packaging Tax?

Any business that imports plastic packaging into the UK or manufactures plastic packaging in the UK will be liable to register for Plastic Packaging Tax. Tax will be due if the 10 tonnes plastic packaging per annum threshold is exceeded.

Are there exemptions from Plastic Packaging Tax?

Any products that fall under the following four categories are exempt from the Plastic Packaging Tax:

  • Used for the immediate packaging of licensed human medicine
  • Permanently recorded as sit aside for a non-packaging use
  • Used as transport packaging to import multiple goods safely into the UK
  • Used in aircraft, ship and rail goods stores
Featured Resource

Plastic Packaging Tax Webinar Replay

plastic tax

Alongside environmental consultancy Comply Direct, we hosted a live webinar aimed towards those looking to get to grips with the new Plastic Packaging Tax. During the webinar, we discuss how business will be affected from April 2022, explore packaging products that fall inside the plastic tax scope, as well as conduct a live Q&A session dedicated to the introduction of Plastic Packaging Tax.

Watch the replay for further insight into how your business may be affected and the steps you can take to minimise tax implications.

Watch replay

Avoid the plastic tax with 30% recycled content

Looking for ways to stay clear of the Plastic Packaging Tax? We've got you covered. Each example below contains at least 30% recycled plastic, making them fully tax exempt.

Look out for the 30% recycled symbol!

Plastic-free packaging alternatives from Swiftpak

Want to avoid plastic entirely? Then our paper packaging products are your best bet.

Bubble wrap

Honeycomb Paper Wrap

An eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap, with no compromise on performance.

Honeycomb Paper Wrap

View product

Bubble lined envelopes

Corrugated & Board envelopes

A wide range of corrugated & board envelopes for the ultimate postal protection.

Corrugated postal envelope

View products

Plastic tape

Paper tape

A recyclable range of packaging tapes for multiple-uses.

Paper packaging tape

View products

Speak to a Plastic Packaging Tax expert today

Simply fill in the form below and we'll arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

By clicking "Submit" you agree for us to contact you for marketing purposes using information you have provided. You can review our Privacy Policy here.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Looking for further ways to reduce plastic usage?

Calculate the impact of your stretch wrap

Utilising the latest technology in film production, MWrap provides a stronger, thinner film than conventional stretch wraps, achieving results of:

  • Up to 40% more productivity
  • Up to 57% cost savings
  • Up to 74% less waste

View stretch wrap calculator

stretch wrap calculator

Plastic Packaging Tax insights

Check out our latest blogs on all things plastic packaging to learn how Swiftpak can benefit your business.

FAQs - Plastic Packaging Tax

  • The 30% recycled material threshold is calculated using the Mass Balance equation. This means total recycled content is divided by total plastic weight. If the figure meets or exceeds 30%, the packaging product is exempt from tax. Anything below 30% and the standard plastic packaging tax of fee of £200 per tonne will stand.

  • Plastic Packaging Tax applies to manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging components which contain less than 30% recycled plastic.

  • If you manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging within a 12 month period, you may need to register for Plastic Packaging Tax.

    For more information on this, visit the official website.

  • The rate of Plastic Packaging Tax will be £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging.

  • Significant fines of up to £20,000 could be imposed, as well as imprisonment between 12 months and 7 years for serious offences.