Who is likely to be affected?

“UK producers of plastic packaging, importers of plastic packaging, business customers of producers and importers of plastic packaging, and consumers who buy goods in plastic packaging in the UK. There will be an exemption for producers and importers of small amounts of plastic packaging to mitigate against disproportionate administrative burdens in comparison to the tax liability.”

Although 2022 may seem a long while away, with all that has gone on in recent months, many brands will be looking to seek new beginnings heading into 2021. Could this be the perfect opportunity to start reconsidering packaging and branding options to get ahead of this new legislation? We definitely think so.

As a sustainable, creative agency, we fully support this taxation. The use of plastics in packaging is seen across all major industries and for years, we have been innovating and sourcing alternative solutions for our clients. It is SO important to remember that moving to sustainable/eco-friendly solutions does not mean a reduction in quality. Audience perception is slowly changing and it is important to consider the longevity of packaging design – we encourage these changes to be considered as soon as possible.

Proposed Revisions

The government will introduce paving legislation in Finance Bill 2020 to enable spending on costs associated with the development of the tax, in particular the development of the IT system.

The government intends to publish draft legislation for consultation in 2020, which will set out the key features of the tax, such as:

  • the £200 per tonne tax rate for packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic 
  • the scope of the tax by definition of the type of taxable product and recycled content
  • the exemption for producers and importers of small quantities of plastic packaging
  • who will be liable to pay the tax and need to register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
  • how the tax will be collected, recovered, and enforced

Just last week, big-dogs McDonald’s have further progressed their move into a more sustainable operating method. They are testing a new system of reusable, returnable coffee cups where consumers will be able to return the coffee cup to McDonald’s or numerous other collection points after use. The cup will be collected and then sterilised for another customer to use. The initiative sees McDonald’s partner with ‘Loop’, a new, zero-waste platform where packaging of our household favourite brands is returned and designed for 100 + uses.

Our Advice

PLAN AHEAD – There will of course be costs involved with rebranding or repackaging products, but if this is addressed early, a longer, more sustainable business option might present itself. The £200 per tonne is not going to be taken lightly for many businesses so future business and marketing strategy must include the shift to alternative packaging choices.

SEEK ADVICE – We aren’t expecting everyone to know the right solutions. It is important to sit down and discuss your options, with your board, with financial advisors, and with your marketing team. At CuCO Creative we can advise on solutions and we also have the capabilities of tapping into our creative team to produce exactly what it is that you’re after. We will help you see this as an opportunity to produce something incredible that will get those heads turning and shout out your brand story with no compromises.

EXECUTION – Make these changes because you WANT to. To get your customers to buy into the plastic-free revolution it has to be echoed in your tone of voice that this is a change you are welcoming. The cost and PR implications of being seen to be ‘doing it because you have to’ could be catastrophic for a brand – take a look at the recent press surrounding the move Pringles have made this week…

If you are a new business looking to invest in a sustainable future or an existing company, reassessing environmental impacts and would like an insight into our knowledge and expertise as a packaging design agency, our experts are here to help! Get in touch today