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UK Government set to Increase Packaging Tax

By 04/12/2018No Comments

New tax fees for plastic packaging, could revolutionise the recycling system.

A study was presented to MPs and industry leaders at Westminster earlier this November. The survey showed why there should be an increase in tax on packaging, mainly the plastic, non-biodegradable kind.

The idea of taxing retailers and businesses more for recycling their used packaging could be an efficient decision. The new strategy would bring millions more into the recycling infrastructure and benefit the environment by reducing plastic waste.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove wants to impose the new fees within the next few months. The party, however, will announce the new waste management strategy earlier according to reports.

Food and drink businesses will be prime targets for this new tax; including high-status retail chains.

Business owners of these industries should expect to cover the net costs of household recycling collections. These fees will be given to the authorities to comply with the EU circular economy package.

How much is plastic recycling costing us?

Sorting and recycling of waste materials cost the authorities over £700 million by the end of 2017, while businesses; including supermarkets spent only £73 million.

Reports suggest that if we contribute the £73 million this could soon rise to over £500 million, helping to boost the performance of the UK’s recycling infrastructure.

Two-thirds of the UK’s plastic packaging ends up in the landfill, acting as a threat to wildlife and ocean life.

The increase in tax law claims to be ‘a comfortable way’ for the government to meet targets without facing underlying recycling issues.

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Opinions vary about the new proposal, with environmentalists, businesses and government figures bringing both approval and disapproval to the table.

People have agreed that the increase in fees will have a positive impact on the recycling system and the environment. However, retailers seem to appeal against the idea.

The introduction of these new tax rates could potentially reduce the demand for raw materials, thus saving the need for fossil fuel excavations.

Why are they introducing new packaging taxes?

’Our oceans are choking on plastic, 90% of the world’s sea birds have fragments of plastic in their stomach.

Despite the public outcry, more products are being made with virgin, or new, plastic rather than with recycled plastic.’’

DR. Lyndsey DoddHead Of Marine Policy - WWF UK

Thousands of whales, dolphins and seals have been washing up on beaches all over the world from 2017-2018, suffocated by plastic materials. The ocean’s ecosystem is significantly at risk.

Studies predict that plastic production will increase by over 40% in the next ten years. These figures will come into effect as fossil fuel industries look to source raw material from fracking in the United States.

A packaging tax increase could help to restore the recycling industry.

The Chairman of Eunomia (Dominic Hogg) suggested that the new tax law should include all types of packaging.

He wants to tax the recycling of plastics, cardboard, papers, metals and glass, ensuring we keep the environment safer. Statistical reports provide ‘extra detail’ and promote fresh thinking for the debate around recycling.

Excess plastic packaging usually ends up in landfill sites where it produces vast amounts of CO2 when it’s incinerated or suffocates animals.

Greater tax penalties would control the carelessness of plastic disposal and improve the efficiency of the recycling industry. Currently, Britain struggles to find an outlet for its packaging waste, especially since China chose to ban plastic waste.

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If these new taxes do come into effect, packaging companies and retailers will face new adaptations. But the question is, what is your opinion on these new tax laws? Can we commit to helping save the environment and improve the recycling system? Or have we other views?

For now, we will have to wait for further reports.