Plastic tax is flawed

The Government are to implement the Plastic Packaging Tax by April 2022.

It would tax producers of plastic packaging that consists of less than 30 per cent recycled plastic. We are concerned that this tax is unfit for purpose, as there are fundamental flaws.

From the rate of £200 per tonne, a standard 330ml plastic bottle would be taxed 0.2862p, a 1.5l plastic bottle would be taxed 0.652p. The Government claim that the tax would not be passed onto consumers.

It clearly could be without much impact on customer spending. In our correspondence with local MPs and the relevant government minister, no good reason is given for a floor of 30 per cent recycled plastic rather than 100 per cent.

Virgin plastic is often cheaper than recycled plastic, so it is likely that many companies will use as little recycled plastic as possible.

Mixed packaging that includes plastic would not be included in certain circumstances.

Given the flaws outlined, this tax would seem not to meet the remit to “provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging”, as claimed by the Government.

The case for plastic reduction over recycling is clear, yet plastic recycling continues to be facilitated by national and local government.

If we are to deal with plastic pollution, we need to facilitate other means and, where packaging is needed, use natural non-toxic materials alongside appropriate waste facilitation.

The fossil fuel industry is investing heavily in plastic production, especially in the US, as other sources of revenue diminish. Big oil / plastic and their funders are members of the World Economic Forum.

The banks that fund these corporations are also. The UK government partners with these polluting, oppressive corporations.

Is this why we are offered such ineffectual measures to deal with the root causes of plastic pollution?

Ben Bell


Plastic Free Swindon

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