The UK Plastics Packaging Tax (PPT) comes into effect this Friday 1st April. This tax is a charge of £200 per ton of material and is applicable to plastic packaging items (defined as any item where plastic is the main component) with less than 30% recycled content. In the case of BioPak the following products and packaging items fall under this tax;
- PLA tumblers, portion and deli pots and lids
- PLA lids
- Inner plastic bags holding products
- Plastic tape on the outer boxes
- Pallet wrap
As you can see, the only products we supply that fall into this taxable criteria are those made from PLA. This highlights a glaring issue in the current state of the tax as compostable plastics are derived from plants, they are designed to be composted and bring food waste back into the system that would otherwise be lost through conventional “Recycling”. When these products are composted into water, Co2 and fibers, they cannot be recycled back into making new compostable products, and therefore cannot claim 30% recycled content to avoid paying the tax. The UK government makes the distinction between bio-based and conventional fossil fuel-based plastics in their wider strategy but fails to do so for the PPT. BioPak supports the PPT for conventional plastics, we also support the idea that all plastic materials should have some criteria imposed on them to promote circularity. In the case of bioplastics, we agree with the proposals put forward by the BBIA (Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association). These continue the criteria of 30% recycled content for oil-based plastics but for compostable plastics this 30% should be renewable carbon. This maintains the same level of sustainable material for both types of plastic but understands the difference between their end-of-life solutions.
BioPak knows that the hospitality sector has been hit continuously over the last 2 years, through covid, staff shortages, food cost increases, packaging increases, inflation and now VAT potentially going back up. Therefore, we will not impose additional costs when the industry needs as much support as possible. This means we will also cover the cost of the PPT for the packaging lines as well and there will be no increase in costs to our customers as a result of the PPT.
These are unprecedented times for the hospitality sector. We supported wherever possible during the pandemic and we will continue that support. Our stance may change in the coming months if costs continue to increase on freight and raw materials, but we will provide as much warning as possible.
We know that compostable packaging is part of the solution to combat the Climate Crisis. Our customers know it as well, the sector continues to grow every month as more and more people understand our mission and get on board. BioPak will continue to lobby for changes in the PPT to differentiate between bio-based plastics and fossil fuel plastics. It might not be a change that happens soon, but we keep the faith that it will happen.
Please contact our Sales Team if you have any questions.
We appreciate the ongoing relationships we have with all of our customers and will continue to support each of you where we can.