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What is UK's Plastic Packaging Tax?

With just a day 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.

Veolia Northern Europe Zone Senior Executive Vice President, Gavin Graveson, said;
“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.”

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.


Notes to editor
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 507 senior decision makers across retail and manufacturing businesses in Great Britain. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st - 27th February 2022. The survey was carried out online.

About Veolia
Veolia recycled more than 350,000 tonnes of plastic waste worldwide in 2019 and aims to recycle 610,000 tonnes a year by 2023. 350,000 tonnes of plastic is equivalent to 9,722 million milk bottles (4 pint) or 16,944 million milk bottles (4 pints) equivalent to 610,000 tonnes.

Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €26.010 billion in 2020.

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This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Veolia (UK) PLC in the following categories: Environment & Nature, Business & Finance, Retail & Fashion, for more information visit