The United Kingdom’s HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced this Thursday that it collected GBP 276 million (€323 million) in plastic packaging tax (PPT) receipts in the financial year 2022 to 2023.
The PPT was introduced on April 1, 2022, with the aim of providing an economic incentive to use recycled plastic in packaging, thereby stimulating an uptake in recycling and collection of plastic waste. The new tax requires producers of plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK to pay GBP 200 per tonne of plastic packaging if it contains less than 30% recycled plastic. The tax does not apply to manufacturers and importers of less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year, packaging exported from the UK, or packaging that is used for licenced human medicines.
The HMRC collected GBP 41 million more than the Treasury predicted after it forecast receipts of GBP 235 million from an estimated 20,000 manufacturers and importers for 2022 to 2023. The HMRC said that as of August 8, 2023, there were 4,142 businesses registered to the PPT.
Figures also show that 39% of the total plastic packaging manufactured in an imported into the UK was declared as taxable under the PPT. Of the remaining 61%, 40% contained at least 30% of recycled plastic, 21% was exported or intended for export, and less than 1% was produced for packaging of human medicines. Moreover, 52% of the total plastic packaging declared was manufactured in the UK and 48% was imported into the country.
Shortly before the tax came into effect, a YouGov poll showed that 77% of businesses were still unaware of its existence. Nevertheless, the HMRC collected the highest revenues in the quarters from April to June and from July to September 2022, at around GBP 70 million per quarter. The revenue declined in the quarters from October to December 2022 and January to March 2023, at around GBP 65 million.
In the financial year 2023 to 2024 the tax is charged at GBP 210.82 per tonne and will continue to apply to manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging components which contain less than 30% recycled plastic.