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Northern Powerhouse European Union

Support for local manufacturers facing Plastic Packaging Tax

The new tax from April 2022 will affect tens of thousands of businesses - not only those that manufacture plastic packaging, but those who import finished goods in plastic packaging as well.


Under the Plastic Packaging Tax, plastic packaging that contains less than 30 per cent recycled plastic will be taxed at a rate of £200 per tonne. The aim is to incentivise businesses to use recycled plastic in packaging (or reduce plastic packaging altogether) rather than use virgin plastics. 

The measure applies to most types of plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK (whether filled or unfilled). Businesses that manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of finished plastic packaging components per year must register to pay the tax and keep detailed records.

Thousands more companies that purchase finished packaging within the UK will also need to complete due diligence to ensure their supplier has accounted for the tax.

Affected manufacturers and packaging buyers in Greater Manchester can access support on eco design and designing out packaging waste from our Resource Efficiency Team.

Greater Manchester SMEs can also receive free advice from the University of Manchester’s Sustainable Materials Innovation (SMI) Hub, which has launched its own ‘Unpack the Tax’ support programme.

The SMI Hub, which is based at the Henry Royce Institute - the UK’s national institute for advanced materials research and innovation - was set up in 2021 to help SMEs find innovations to waste management and sustainable plastics.

The Unpack the Tax project offers guidance on understanding whether your packaging is in scope, how to comply with regulations and contact suppliers, and what possibilities exist to improve sustainability.

Local companies already receiving support from the SMI Hub include Manchester-based school uniform supplier David Luke, which is working on solutions for clothes hangers and protective plastic packaging for its products.

Read our guide to the Plastic Packaging Tax

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