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Autumn Budget 2018 Announced

30th October 2018

Martin Hyde

Yesterday (29 October 2018) saw Chancellor Philip Hammond present his Autumn budget to parliament

Overall, the budget received a mixed response from the environmental industry, with critics hitting out at the lack of major action on carbon and clean growth. However, the government have made clear their commitment to driving recycled content in packaging.

Plastic Packaging Tax
The Chancellor announced plans for a tax on plastic packaging which has less than 30% recycled content. This is planned for introduction from April 2022 and will affect plastic packaging which is manufactured or imported into the UK.  This tax could help to stimulate a secondary material market for plastic waste as an input material to manufacturing, and help to bring the UK further in line with Circular Economy values.

Producer Responsibility
The upcoming Producer Responsibility Reform (also referred to as the PRN system reform) was additionally given a specific mention, with plans to provide a system which incentivises responsible design and penalises material which is difficult to recycle.

Consultations 
The budget states that both of the above changes will be consulted on over the next few months, which likely means that the recycled content tax will now also be included in the upcoming consultations for release with the Resource and Waste Strategy. Currently, we are aware of the following issues being covered in the upcoming consultation (due by the end of November 2018):

  • Deposit return schemes
  • Future packaging recycling targets
  • Reform of the Producer Responsibility System
  • Plans for a tax on plastics packaging without recycled content

Additionally, there is currently an ongoing consultation regarding the use of single-use plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds. Read more about this consultation including how to respond HERE

Latte Levy
The Chancellor also posed the government’s views on a “Latte Levy” (the introduction of a tax similar to the 5p plastic bag tax but on disposable coffee cups), stating that whilst this has been reviewed (including other beverage cups), he is content to follow industry led progress for now.

Have your say
Comply Direct will be responding to each of the aforementioned consultations, so for details on how you can be included in our response, for assistance with your own responses or for further information regarding any of the proposed changes, please feel free to contact us on packaging@complydirect.com, call 01756 794 951 or email our Policy Researcher Martin Hyde – martin@complydirect.com