Government Launches Consultation to Overhaul Packaging Waste

A consultation has been launched for a tax on plastic packaging that fails to meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content.

The 12 week consultation, launched by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, will tackle the cost of producing recycled options as opposed to the cheaper option of non-recycled material. It plans to assess which packaging should be in scope of the tax, which businesses will be liable for the tax, and which design options are best suited for the overhaul.

Packaging producers currently pay 10% of the cost of dealing with packaging waste – but the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system will raise this to the full cost, prompting producers to consider switching to recyclable packaging.

It is estimated that EPR for packaging will raise between £800m and £1bn annually for recycling and disposal.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We are committed to going further and faster to reduce, reuse, recycle and cut waste. That’s why we are leading the way to move away from being a ‘throw-away’ society and drive up domestic recycling.

“Through our plans we will introduce a world-leading tax to boost recycled content in plastic packaging, make producers foot the bill for handling their packaging waste, and end the confusion over household recycling.”