UK Government to Introduce Plastic Packaging Tax by 2022

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HMRC sign gov.uk Feature

“82% of UK shoppers believe the level of plastic packaging needs to be changed drastically” – Ubamarket

From April 2022 the UK government will be implementing a tax on plastic packaging which uses less than 30% recycled material, although I personally feel that more can be done by the government and that most companies can do a lot better when it comes to reducing the total amount of plastic used in their packaging.

We at Play3r have been highlighting the unnecessary or excessive use of plastic packaging in our product reviews for some time now, ever since one of our reviewers suggested that it might be an important metric that consumers would want to know when making a purchasing decision. We wholeheartedly agreed and have since called out companies whenever excessive plastic is used in place of more environmentally appropriate alternatives.

Things like plastic clamshell packaging inside a cardboard box without any windows is unnecessary – it protects against dust that comes with using cardboard but otherwise there is no benefit to the consumer. Sometimes plastic packaging is recyclable but not always, especially if that plastic is in the form of dense foam. Similarly the use of single-use plastic for screws and other small components or bags for paperwork is something we feel should be addressed when a small cardboard box or a paper envelope would be adequate.

The retail shopping app Ubamarket got in touch with their thoughts on this new tax relating it to supermarket retail shopping, however we have seen that plastic is prevalent in tech retail as well. Ubamarket’s comments are below. – Craig


Retail shopping app Ubamarket provides commentary on the new UK Plastic Tax 

The (UK) government announced that from April 2022 it would introduce a world-leading new tax on the production and import of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content. Research conducted by the government revealed that plastic packaging accounts for 44% of plastic used in the UK , but 67% of plastic waste, and over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging is used each year. The tax will be set at a rate that provides a clear economic incentive for businesses to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging, which will create greater demand for this material and in turn stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill sites across the country.

Ubamarket, the innovative retail app, has commissioned nationally representative research across a sample of 2003 UK adults to find out how British shoppers feel about plastic packaging in our supermarkets:

  • 82% – nearly 43 million – of UK shoppers believe the level of plastic packaging on food and drink products needs to be changed drastically
  • 77% of Brits, representing more than 40 million nationally, think that, no matter how much they recycle, they feel it is the manufactures and supermarkets that are causing the most plastic pollution
  • 44% of respondents, representing 23 million nationally, actively purchased products that have less of an impact on the environment, even if they were more expensive
  • 42% – 21.7 million nationally – of the British public want to be more environmentally conscious but feel they do not know enough about recycling and plastic pollution to make informed changes
  • 41% of respondents, representing 21.6 million nationally, believe that plastic packaging is having an adverse effect on their health
  • 65%, or 33.8 million nationally, want to make the switch to more environmentally friendly products but feel that these products are often significantly more expensive

This research highlights the amount of pressure that is currently on business and retailers to help reduce the amount of plastic waste in the UK. Ubamarket’s feature ‘Plastic Alerts’, a new industry first that allows supermarket shoppers to easily identify the most environmentally friendly products, by informing them whether the packaging on the food they are purchasing is recyclable or not. Will Broome, CEO and founder of Ubamarket:

“The plastic tax which is to be introduced shows that Brits are more concerned about plastic waste and the environment than ever before. Our research shows that 70% of Brits believe that, no matter how much they recycle, they feel it is the manufactures and supermarkets that are causing the most plastic pollution. This tax should give companies incentive to cut down on their plastic waste as well as hopefully empower consumers to feel as if the changes they make to become more eco-friendly are worth their while.”

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