BEAMA has responded to the Treasury’s consultation on a plastic packaging tax. Although containing further information than the original proposals, further details are needed on the practicality of the policy.
We are in favour of manufacturers playing their part in environmental measures, and our members contribute to considerate treatment of waste for example through the WEEE Regulations. However, to allow manufacturers to make this contribution they require a consistent and practical policy. In this case, more information is needed on how the Treasury’s tax will work alongside Defra’s producer responsibility schemes. Current proposals would mean manufacturers having to calculate their packaging using two different methods, which is inefficient and takes resources for businesses that could be reallocated towards more impactful environmental measures.
All policy measures require adequate enforcement to ensure they are successful and to ensure a level playing field for all manufacturers. Complexities in this proposed tax raise questions as to how effective enforcement could be applied, so this is another area requiring further guidance from Government. We also hope the Government will work internationally to develop supply chains for recycled packaging, ensuring that greater availability of recycled materials allow this tax to drive real behaviour change.