Veolia reports 77% of UK businesses were still unaware of the Plastic Packaging Tax two days before it came into force on April 1; majority support an escalator in percentage of recycled content threshold and cost charge as incentive for recycled content

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

April 1, 2022 (press release) –

With just two days to go until its implementation, Veolia reports that 77% of British retail and manufacturing businesses are still unaware of the impending Plastic Packaging Tax.

Research conducted by YouGov, on behalf of Veolia, explored the views of British-based senior decision makers across retail and manufacturing businesses on the incoming Plastic Packaging Tax. The tax places a £200 per tonne levy on producers or importers of plastic packaging if they do not include 30% recycled content and will come into force from 1 April 2022.

The survey found that only a fifth (22%) of the manufacturing and retail businesses asked had already opted for recycled content in their packaging. To reach the UK’s Net Zero goals, far more businesses must reduce their reliance on virgin materials. The majority of British retail and manufacturing businesses also support an escalator in percentage of recycled content threshold (63%) and cost charge (50%) as an incentive to use recycled content.

“The UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax is the right way to start getting businesses to push sustainability up the agenda, but it needs to go further. A tax escalator would make choosing to incorporate recycled content in packaging both economically and environmentally preferable to using virgin materials.

Not only could the UK save up to 2.89 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year if all plastic packaging included 30% recycled content, it would also incentivise investment in domestic infrastructure which could make the UK a world leader in plastics recycling.” --GAVIN GRAVESON, VEOLIA NORTHERN EUROPE ZONE SENIOR EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

The British retail and manufacturing businesses who had made changes to their plastic packaging reported:

  • Two thirds (66%) have reduced the amount of unnecessary or avoidable plastic packaging
  • Over half (58%) now use recycled content
  • 54% have changed the packaging design to make it more recyclable
  • 39% have chosen alternative materials to plastic for their packaging

Working from three dedicated sites in London, Essex and the Midlands, Veolia operates a full process to recycle plastic materials from homes and businesses, and turn them back into plastic pellets ready to be used to manufacture new plastic items. This can process over 100 different grades of plastic from consumer, commercial and industrial sources, and pass these materials back into the supply chain for reuse. Backing the operations is the support team that can ensure compliance with the complex legislation involved in the reprocessing of these materials, and Veolia’s own Sustainable Packaging Academy. 

Globally Veolia aims to recycle 610,000 tonnes of plastic waste a year by 2023, equivalent to 16,944 million 4 pint milk bottles. Veolia is part of the international cross value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), currently made up of nearly thirty member companies, and this has committed over $1.0 billion to develop large scale solutions that will minimise and manage plastic waste and promote solutions for used plastics.

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Jason Irving
Jason Irving
- SVP Enterprise Solutions -

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