Foodservice Packaging Association Director Martin Kersh said:

“The Chancellor, by introducing a tax to encourage use of recycled content, has sent a clear signal that recycling is an essential part of the strategy to achieving net zero emissions.  The application of a £200 per tonne tax on plastics containing less than 30% recycled content to both imported as well UK produced plastic packaging means the government has dropped its original intention to exclude imported filled packaging from the tax, a policy change we very much welcome.

“The proposed £200 per tonne, while less than the sums originally mentioned, will be inflationary for plastic packaging using materials for which recycled content is not possible under food contact regulations and for which alternative plastics cannot be used.  We would like to see this difficulty acknowledged and are concerned there is no mechanism for ensuring plastic packaging producers can pass the tax on to their customers.  This could threaten the future of some producers.

“The gradual increase in recycled content by some producers should also be recognised by introducing a variable rate so that those businesses that have achieved say 5% recycled content are rewarded, noting also the increase in demand for recycled content will continue to increase the cost of recycled plastics with UK businesses competing globally for rPET and recycled HDPE.

“We welcome the consultation also announced today which confirms an exemption to the tax for all packaging where plastic is a minority ingredient.  However the announcement of a de minimus for those placing less than 10 tonnes of packaging per year on the market needs to be assessed to ensure it doesn’t create an uneven playing field.  We also hope this does not create a precedent for producer responsibility reforms.

“We welcome the decision not to impose a levy on paper cups. This recognises the excellent work undertaken by the sector in collecting and recycling cups

“We welcome business rate relief for smaller hospitality operators as well as measures to help businesses, especially smaller ones, during the coronavirus crisis.  The recognition of the significance of the hospitality sector to the UK economy and the need to maintain it is long overdue and credit must go to both the British Hospitality Association and the British Takeaway Campaign for their lobbying.”

Ends                                                                                                                                      March 2020

Issued on behalf of the Foodservice Packaging Association by Leapfrog PR. Editorial contact is Felicity@Leapfrogpr.com or call 01242 282000 or mobile 07887 608353