Plastic Packaging Tax UK

Plastic Packaging Tax UK

Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT)

Missed opportunities and a lack of international certification

 

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

The plastic packaging tax (PPT) will apply to manufacturers, importers and users of plastic packaging and will be administered by HMRC. It will impact a wide range of plastic packaging formats and applies to all polymer types, including bio-based and compostable plastics. Within plastic packaging overall, packaging used for foodservice is a tiny proportion.

 

The tax, to be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne of packaging, will apply to plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content and to both packaging manufactured in, and imported into, the UK. In respect of foodservice packaging, it will apply to items designed to be used in the supply chain to contain food, including cups, bowls, plates, etc – as these are within the definition of “packaging”. This also applies whether or not the packaging can be reused.

 

 

 

recycled plastic cups and food containers
The tax will not apply to Celebrations rPET recycled plastic food containers and cold drink cups as they are made with up to 80% recycled material

Unanswered questions and confusion about the tax

There is still a lot of confusion about what the tax actually is. A lot of people refer to it as the plastic tax, but it is actually the plastic packaging tax. This is an important distinction in foodservice as a lot of people think it’s going to apply to plastic cutlery – but plastic cutlery is not packaging. So, it won’t apply.

 

The tax comes into effect on 1st April, but businesses can’t register on the government website until that date. At time of writing, HMRC has issued, and then withdrawn, the requirement to provide information on all sales invoices. Currently, as nothing has been confirmed, business will be very reluctant to implement IT changes, with no clear idea of what the final requirements will be.

 

This all feels very rushed and ill-conceived and while trade associations such as the Foodservice Packaging Association have worked hard to advise HMRC, seek clarity and help their members prepare, there are still a lot of unanswered questions and quite a lot of confusion. In practical and simple terms, and in respect of the impact on the foodservice industry, we – and other responsible manufacturers and distributors – will need to increase prices to absorb the £200 per tonne applied to any plastic packaging which has less than 30% recycled content, as we would with any other tax.

 

Celebration have delayed price adjustments

“At Celebration we have been able to import a lot of plastic packaging items ahead of the 1st April deadline” says managing director, Nick Burton.  “As I result, I am pleased to say that we will not be adjusting prices, due to the tax, until Friday 1st July. This means that any order received up to and including Thursday 30th June will not be subject to any increase due to the tax.”

A question of certification?

The tax will be payable by businesses which manufacture a finished plastic component or complete the last substantial modification to the plastic packaging here in the UK. But it also applies to plastic packaging imported into the UK, and while some certification programs for plastic postconsumer resin exist, not all suppliers can provide proof of the percentage of recycled content.

 

If we’re asked to confirm the percentage of recycled content in imported packaging, we have to rely on the manufacturer to prove it, so this is a truly international issue and yet the tax – and the burden of responsibility – is being applied only in the UK.

 

Another issue facing manufacturers is a shortage of recycled raw materials and the fact that recycled plastic currently costs considerably more than virgin material.

 

A missed opportunity to promote reusable packaging

In introducing this tax, the government has missed an opportunity to promote the use of reusable plastic products, which make an important contribution to reducing the use of plastic.

 

The stated aim of the PPT is “to increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging”, but there is a lack of clarity around reusable packaging, as while plastic storage boxes are exempt, the tax still applies to reusable foodservice packaging. One of our restaurant customers is saving many tonnes of plastic a year by using our microwavable reusable portion packaging instead of single-use plastic packaging. But then you have to consider that the tax is applied on a weight basis, and to be serviceable, reusable packaging is generally thicker and heavier.

 

If a foodservice operator is looking to understand the issues created by the PPT, they need to work with a consultative supplier to ensure that they’re choosing the right packaging – that’s functional, fit for purpose, popular with consumers and above all, sustainable.

 

 

 

 

ISO 14001 Certification renewal

ISO 14001 Certification renewal

Celebration is pleased to announce that our ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management has been renewed to the latest standards.

Celebration aims to reduce the business’s environmental impact as much as possible. Our efforts include sustainable sourcing, energy reduction, and onsite recycling.   

Reducing Energy

Various measures have been taken to reduce energy (electricity) usage.  Lighting has been upgraded with efficient LED fittings throughout the premises.  Areas of the building have been fitted with automated lighting.  In the factory, auto switch-off units have been installed on printing machines.

 Reducing Waste

Waste collection stations for paper, plastic and other mixed materials are sited throughout the premises. Since the waste collection stations were installed, it’s estimated that our waste to landfill has reduced by 75%.

In the factory, our waste ‘inky water’ from coaster and napkins production is sent for recycling. The waste flexo inks from printing tray liners and disposable bibs are sent to be reworked into black ink.

We have also improved the efficiency of our coaster production through new cutter designs, reducing tissue waste to a bare minimum.

  

Change of company name

Change of company name

On 8th October 2019 we officially changed our company name to:

Celebration Packaging Limited

Change of name from Celebration paper & plastics ltd

The decision to change our name from Celebration Paper & Plastics Ltd to the new one, was taken to futureproof our brand as our product range develops to include packaging made from many different materials; not just paper & plastics.

There has been no change to the ownership of the business and all other details (company registration number, VAT number and bank account numbers) remain the same.

Our company logo and other product category logos, such as EnviroWare®, have also been redesigned to bring them up to date and so that they now have synergy and share a common design.

Lunch! September 19

Lunch! September 19

Back in September, we exhibited at lunch! ExCel, London.  We ran two stands, one for Celebration packaging in general and a separate, dedicated one for our EnviroWare® eco-friendly range. We had a very successful show and it was great to have the opportunity to meet with so many people from our industry and to be able to show them our products.