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 At time of writing, HMRC has issued, and then withdrawn, the requirement to provide information on all sales invoices.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.

 

 

 

 

New range of reusable containers for reheating foods

New range of reusable containers for reheating foods

Celebration Packaging has launched a new range of reusable, microwavable,

hinged-lid food containers made from virgin polypropylene.

“With a draft roadmap for coming out of lockdown in place, restaurant and pub owners and operators will be planning for reopening. First for outside spaces only, but later for dine-in, albeit under as-yet-unannounced rules,” says Celebration Packaging Managing Director Nick Burton. “These businesses will be seeking to ensure their kitchens can operate safely and efficiently, maintaining quality while also ensuring speed of service.

Meal prep containers for pre-serve portion control

This new foodservice range has been developed in response to customer demand. Before lockdown, some of our major high street foodservice customers were looking to move away from single-use disposable plastic packaging and find reusable solutions. They approached Celebration Packaging to discover what we could offer.

“As problem solvers, trials have now been successfully concluded with two major high street foodservice businesses to develop a reusable, microwavable range which would provide a solution for pre-serve portion control in meal preparation. We are proud to now announce the launch of this new, proven range.”

The new products are made from high-clarity virgin polypropylene (PP) which allows users to easily identify contents, speeding up meal preparation, and avoiding service errors. The packaging is easy to use, as it is delivered nested and stackable, enabling speed of service and features easy opening lid tabs and a hinged lid.

Perfect for portion control, we have so far produced 200ml capacity rectangular containers. Also, round food containers in two sizes: 200ml (shallow); and 400ml (deep). Custom shapes and sizes are available, and the reusable containers can also be embossed with branding or usage instructions for the kitchen staff, subject to tooling charges.

Microwavable, Dish Washer Safe and Reusable

The new range is microwavable and the rectangular range features air vents in the sides and top lid to allow steam to escape when the food is being microwaved. To make the products reusable, or ‘rotable’, they are top rack dishwasher-safe, so can be used time and time again.

Putting reuse at the front of “reduce; recycle; reuse”

“Over the few past years, the mantra for those paying attention to environmental sustainability has been ‘Reduce; recycle; reuse’, but least attention has usually been paid to the reuse aspect,” says Nick. “This new food-grade PP hinged-lid container range delivers on all three priorities. The containers significantly reduce the amount of plastic used in busy kitchens, can be 100% recycled at the end of its life, and is reusable, or ‘rotable’, as many call it.”

The term ‘rotable’ seems to have originated in the aviation industry and is defined as: ‘an element or component that can be repeatedly restored to a working and serviceable condition’. So, in other words, choosing rotables over disposables, means investing in longevity, with a solution that can be reused over and over again.

Reduce packaging waste in busy kitchens

“Switching to reusables in high-traffic kitchens significantly reduces the amount of plastic being used when replacing single-use packaging,” says Nick. “We calculated that one customer who uses the rectangular product is saving in excess of 33,000 kgs of plastic by switching from single-use containers to the new reusable product. The amount of plastic saved obviously depends on how many times the new reusable product is used before being sent for recycling. But as the range is also manufactured here in the UK, switching to these products substantially reduces an operator’s carbon footprint.”

Further increasing the versatility of the new PP microwavable and reusable range, filled containers can also be placed in a freezer. Trials are recommended, and the range is not suitable for blast freezing. “As problem solvers in foodservice packaging, Celebration has been seeking more sustainable solutions since launching our EnviroWare® range over 13 years ago,” Nick concludes. “We are proud that this latest, proven innovation successfully adds value back-of-house, while also enabling operators to improve their sustainability credentials.”

For assistance with bespoke food packaging solutions contact Celebration Packaging Ltd.

Ripple wrap insulated paper cups and food containers

Ripple wrap insulated paper cups and food containers

As the cold wintery weather continues, hot takeaway foods and drinks are very popular.

Celebrations Ripple Wrap paper cups and food containers are ideal for food businesses offering warming drinks and foods-to-go to their locals.  There is a demand from local communities wanting to support their favorite pubs, restaurants, cafes and bakeries through these difficult times. To meet this, there has been a huge influx of businesses offering takeaway treats for customers to enjoy.

The Ripple Wrap range is perfect for food and drink to-go.  Its corrugated wrapping not only protects hands from heat, it also helps keep the contents hot for longer.

Please contact our sales team on  01283 538259 / email sales@celebration.co.uk for further information or to request your free set of samples.  

Ripple Wrap Food / Soup Containers & Lids

Ripple Wrap Food Containers are available in 8oz, 12oz and 16oz sizes – for small, regular and large portions.  The quality, heavyweight paperboard containers have a corrugated outer for heat insulation and a PE lining to prevent leaks. 

A white PS lid is available separately and fits all three sizes. 

Perfect for serving soup, stew, curry or hot desserts. 

8 oz Ripple Wrap Soup Food Container

Brown 8 oz Ripple Soup Container

12 oz Ripple Wrap Soup Food Container

Brown 12 oz Ripple Soup Container

16 oz Ripple Wrap Soup Food Container

Brown 16 oz Ripple Soup Container

White plastic lid to fit 8, 12, 16 oz ripple food containers

White Lid for Soup Container

Ripple Wrap Paper Hot Drink Cups & Lids

Plain Brown Ripple Wrap Cups are available in 4oz espresso, 8oz small, 12oz regular and 16oz large. A plain black version is available in 8oz and 16oz. The quality, heavyweight paperboard cups have a corrugated outer for heat insulation and a PE lining to prevent leaks. 

Sip through lids are available for 8oz – 16oz cups and come in two colour options – black or white. 

4 oz small paper espresso disposable cup ripple wrap

Plain Brown 4oz Ripple Cup

8 oz ripple wrap brown insulated paper cup

Plain Brown 8oz Ripple Cup

12 oz ripple wrap brown insulated paper cup

Plain Brown 12oz Ripple Cup

16 oz insulated ripple wrap cup detpak

Plain Brown 16oz Ripple Cup

8 oz Plain Black Ripple Wrap Cup Detpak

Plain Black 8oz Ripple Cup

Plain black 16oz ripple cup

Plain Black 16oz Ripple Cup

Black plastic lid for 8 oz cups

Black Domed Sipper Lid for 8oz Cups

Black plastic sip through lid for 12 oz and 17 oz paper cups

Black Domed Sipper Lid for 12 & 16oz Cups

White plastic lid for 8 oz paper cups

White Domed Sipper Lid for 8oz Cups

White plastic lid to fit 12 oz and 16 oz paper cups

White Domed Sipper Lid for 12 & 16oz Cups