What is the EU plastic tax Levy?

What is the EU plastic tax Levy (and how does it differ to the UK plastic tax)?


The EU have announced plans for a new plastic tax levy as part of a €750bn coronavirus recovery package. The levy, approved in July 2020, will directly charge member states, and comes into effect from the 1st January 2021.


The tax will calculate the weight of non recyclable plastic packaging waste, and will be charged at a rate of €0.80 per kilogram. All proceeds from the tax will go to the EU, rather than the governments or countries that collect them. It will be down to each state to determine how they recoup the costs.


Of the €750bn, €390bn will be given as grants to each of the member states to help deal with the economic effects of the pandemic.



How will the EU plastic tax Levy affect my business in the UK?


Due to the fact the UK is no longer in the EU, we will most likely not be subject to any member state payments. As part of the UK’s transition out of the EU, it was agreed that the UK would follow all new rulings from the EU. However, the transition period ends at the beginning of 2021 so it is unlikely the UK will take part.


It’s widely expected that the cost to import plastic packaging from Europe will rise, particularly that which is non recyclable. So UK businesses could be affected in this way.



How does the EU plastic tax differ to the UK plastic tax?


Although the taxes appear similar, the differences lie in the production of the plastic. The EU tax levy focuses on the end of life recycling of the product – that it can’t be recycled. The UK plastic tax focuses on the amount of non recycled content within the plastic – with a charge for materials with less than 30% recycled content.


For more information on the UK plastic packaging tax, take a look at our blog.



How can I minimise potential costs incurred on both taxes?


Environmentally friendly packaging is obviously the best way to beat the tax. By doing your research now, you can find alternative solutions in time for the new changes. Our Environmentally Friendly Packaging Solutions blog is packed with our top suggestions for packaging. We also have a range of YouTube videos with helpful advice on our product range.


If you need advice on your specific packaging requirements, you can always speak to our Packaging Pros on 01905 457 000!

About the author

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Simon Rees
I am Springpacks Head of Marketing covering all aspects of marketing. I specialise in digital marketing with almost 15 years experience.
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