Plastic Packaging Tax Summary

ERP UK has produced this briefing for companies wanting to understand the new tax.

Why is this important for your business?

  • Plastic Packaging Tax came into force in the UK on 1 April 2022
  • There are penalties for liable businesses who do not register
  • Costs for some businesses may be significant

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

A £200 per tonne tax on liable plastic packaging components – as of April 2022.

What is the aim of the Plastic Packaging Tax?

To increase the use of recycled material in the production of plastic packaging. The tax will encourage businesses to work with suppliers of products whose packaging includes recycled material. Demand for recycled material is expected to increase the collection and recycling of waste plastic – reducing the amount which is landfilled or incinerated.



The tax will apply to:

  • Plastic packaging components manufactured in the UK
  • Plastic packaging imported into the UK
  • Substantial modification to a piece of plastic packaging that was already manufactured or imported


  1. The definition of plastic packaging under PPT results in a scope wider than that of the current Packaging Waste Regulations
  2. Plastic includes bioplastics, including biodegradable, compostable, and oxo-degradable plastics

*The following exemptions and exclusions are a minefield of complexity. We recommend you read and understand the full details.

There are 3 categories of products that will not be subject to the tax:

  1. Products made of plastic where the primary function is storage, not packaging
  2. Products where plastic packaging is an integral part of the goods
  3. Products that are primarily designed to be re-used for the presentation of goods to a consumer or user and have been permanently set aside for this purpose, before or as soon as they have been manufactured or imported