Plastic tax overview


Information and guidance on the Plastic Packaging Tax is based on best available information. Both the legislation and technical requirements for the Tax are are subject to change at any time. Comply Direct will endeavour to update our guidance to reflect the latest current HMRC guidance as and when needed, beyond the launch date of April 2022.

What is the Plastic Packaging Tax?

The Plastic Packaging Tax is a measure put in place by HMRC as part of the UK’s resources and waste strategy to encourage the usage of recycled material in plastic packaging in the UK.

From 1 April 2022, plastic packaging components manufactured in and imported into the UK will be liable for a specific material tax where it does not meet a minimum recycled content of 30% by weight.

Why the plastic tax?

The aim of the tax is to encourage businesses to include recycled content above 30% in their plastic packaging placed on the UK market, by forcing a competitive edge through taxation.

At Budget 2017, the government announced a call for evidence into using the tax system or charges to tackle single-use plastic waste and received 162,000 responses. At Budget 2018, a new tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic was announced.

Government state; "The tax will provide a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging, which will create greater demand for this material and in turn stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration."

Key facts and resources

Key plastic tax facts:

  • Applies from April 2022
  • Payable at £200 per tonne
  • Applies to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported in to the UK
  • Businesses must demonstrate 30% recycled content or pay the tax
  • Minimum threshold "de-minimus of 10 tonnes"
  • Money goes into UK central fund 

Government guidance and useful links

Further support

If you have any queries about the plastic packaging tax, need support in managing your tax liability and/or how the upcoming changes may affect your business, contact our Policy Team on 01756 794 951 or email at