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BPF responds to proposed plastic tax

According to the Guardian and Greenpeace’s Unearthed journalists, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) plans to lobby against the government’s plan to introduce a plastic tax.

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The plastic tax is part of a strategy to improve recycling rates and cut plastic pollution

In last year’s Budget, Philip Hammond proposed a tax on all plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled content from April 2022.

Consultations are currently ongoing at the Treasury, but documents seen by Unearthed journalists and shared with the Guardian reveal that the BPF plans to lobby the Treasury to delay the introduction of the tax and possibly lower the threshold on recycled content.

Representatives of the trade group, which represents over 500 members, met with Treasury officials last week to discuss the tax. According to Unearthed, the BPF’s own analysis of the tax revealed it would ‘significantly boost the use of recycled plastics in packaging.’

The analysis also showed that 18% of the plastic packaging sector will not be able to reach the required level of 30% of recycled plastic, which would lead to a rise in the cost of some products.

… we are working to overcome the numerous technical challenges to introducing 30% recycled content across all plastic packaging

In a statement, the BPF says: “The plastics industry wants to increase the amount of recycled content in its products and we are working to overcome the numerous technical challenges to introducing 30% recycled content across all plastic packaging formats. These are due to food safety laws and the need to keep packaging as resource efficient as possible.

“In certain cases, including recycled content can result in using more plastic, not less. In some cases, increasing recycled content could make a product extremely difficult to recycle at the end of its life.

“It is for these reasons that the plastics industry is providing detailed information to the government to ensure the best outcome for the environment and that the money raised is reinvested in improving our national collection and recycling infrastructure.”

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