Climate Action

UK Government announces new plastic tax

The UK Government has announced a world-leading new tax on plastic packaging in the autumn Budget.

  • 30 October 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

The UK Government has announced a world-leading new tax on plastic packaging in the autumn Budget.

The tax, set to be implemented from April 1st 2022, will be subject to a consultation, but if approved will apply to any business that produce or import plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30 per cent recycled content.

Future revenues from the tax will enable investment to address single-use plastics, waste and litter. In addition to this, £20 million in funding was announced to tackle plastics and boost recycling.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the amount of plastic which the UK is throwing away is set to increase to over a million tonnes by 2030, this is equivalent to over 87,000 more double decker buses worth of plastic waste each year.

The Budget did not include the proposed ‘latte levy’ that had originally aimed to add 25p onto each takeaway cup to combat, what Prime Minister Theresa May termed, Britain’s ‘throwaway culture’.

Responding to the Chancellor’s decision not to impose a latte levy in this year’s Budget, Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner Julian Kirby said: “It’s astonishing that the Chancellor has gone cold on a ‘latte levy’, just when we needed him to turn up the heat on plastic polluters.”

This news follows the UK Government announcing a plan to ban plastic straws, cotton buds and stirrers to decrease the growing plastic pollution.

Photograph: © Copyright Ian Greig