With a few days to go until its implementation, the UK’s Plastics Packaging Tax has not yet penetrated the awareness of 77% of British retail and manufacturing businesses, reports resource management company Veolia .
Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Veolia explored the views of 507 British-based senior decision-makers across retail and manufacturing businesses on the incoming Plastic Packaging Tax. The tax places a £200 per tonne levy on producers or importers of plastic packaging if they do not include 30% recycled content and will come into force from 1 April 2022.
The survey was carried out online between 21st - 27th February 2022. It found that only a fifth (22%) of the manufacturing and retail businesses asked had already opted for recycled content in their packaging. To reach the UK’s Net Zero goals, far more businesses must reduce their reliance on virgin materials. The results also showed that the majority of British retail and manufacturing businesses also support an escalator in percentage of recycled content threshold (63%) and cost charge (50%) as an incentive to use recycled content.
“A tax escalator would make choosing to incorporate recycled content in packaging both economically and environmentally preferable to using virgin materials,” explained Veolia northern Europe zone senior executive vice president, Gavin Graveson.
Of the 22% of UK businesses who have already made changes to their plastic packaging, two thirds (66%) have reduced the amount of unnecessary or avoidable plastic packaging; over half (58%) now use recycled content; 54% have changed the packaging design to make it more recyclable; and 39% have chosen alternative materials to plastic for their packaging.
Veolia operates three dedicated sites in London, Essex and the Midlands, where it processes over 100 different grades of plastic from consumer, commercial and industrial sources, to be returned back into the supply chain for reuse. The company, which is headquartered in France, aims to recycle 610,000 tonnes of plastic globally by 2023.