UK Plastic Packaging Tax Information Update

16 March 2022

The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) is one of four core initiatives intended to transform the UK’s packaging waste. PPT will come into effect from 1 April 2022.

Plastic Packaging Tax

PPT is an environmental tax that has been designed to provide a financial incentive for businesses to use recycled plastic in the manufacturing of plastic packaging. The government envisages this will create greater demand for recycled plastic, stimulating increased levels of recycling of plastic waste and diverting it away from landfill or incineration.

The rate of the tax will be £200 per metric tonne of plastic packaging. In addition to material that is obviously performing a packaging function, single-use items used in a packaging-type function for commodities or wastes will also be liable to the tax; for instance, carrier bags, refuse sacks, disposable plastic cups, disposable (non-reusable) sharps bins.

Who is liable?

  1. UK manufacturers producing ‘finished’ packaging.
  2. Importers of plastic packaging, that does not contain at least 30% recycled.

Businesses manufacturing or importing less than 10 tonnes over a 12-month period are exempt.           

The new PPT will affect some suppliers within our supply chain. Read on to see how we are supporting those suppliers.

Joint and Several Liability

If the business that has the liability for the tax fails to declare and pay their PPT, HMRC will be able to transfer that obligation onto customers that bought the taxable plastic. This means that businesses buying products with a PPT liability must undertake due diligence to ensure their suppliers are complying with the legislation.

As customers of liable businesses, NHS Supply Chain will conduct due diligence to ensure our suppliers are complying with the legislation.

As part of this activity, NHS Supply Chain held two PPT webinars for suppliers. Both sessions covered the basics of PPT, its potential impact on the supply chain and what NHS Supply Chain needs from suppliers so we can all be compliant with this new legislation.

Suppliers can request further information and a copy of the webinar recording from suppliers@supplychain.nhs.uk.

See our Useful Links section for the HMRC webpage for further details on PPT.

Supporting a Net Zero NHS

NHS Supply Chain is committed to being a more sustainable supply chain and we have already started work on reducing single-use plastics within our supply chain. Our 2021 – 2022 business plan was launched with a business target of reducing 50 tonnes of single-use plastics by April 2022. We exceeded the 50 tonnes target weight reduction four months early.

Other sustainable solutions include: 

  • Further reducing avoidable single use plastics from our catering consumable offering.
  • Making it a requirement for suppliers to complete assessments on: Carbon, Waste, and Water reduction and Modern Slavery.

See our Useful Links section to read more on our sustainability strategy, find out if they are ready for the plastic tax and to access a copy of the PPT guidance. If you manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging within a 12-month period, you may need to register for the tax.