UK Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) registrations rise as fresh deadline looms, packaging data services provider reports

Over 2,600 UK businesses have so far registered for the plastic packaging tax

The tax is designed to encourage businesses to use recycled plastic in packaging

Leading packaging data services provider Ecoveritas has welcomed the increase in registrations for the Treasury’s flagship Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT).

In August, law firm Pinsent Mason’s Freedom of Information request sparked a flurry of negative headlines, with just 992 businesses registering to pay the tax. But HMRC has moved to clarify that the data reported was from April, Ecoveritas said.

In fact, as of 26 September, over 2,600 businesses across the UK successfully submitted their Q1 returns on time.

The first quarter of the tax raised around £58 million and went some way towards alleviating fears that PPT might not raise the £235 million projected for year one.

Kathy Illingworth, head of sustainability consulting at Ecoveritas, said: “It’s pleasing to see the number of registrations jump, but for a measure that would supposedly affect up to 20,000 businesses, there is still work to be done.

“HMRC will surely be keen to rachet up the pressure after some of the abysmal headlines and come down hard with penalties for late or non-filed returns. Businesses should look to partner with a packaging data specialist that can consistently deliver a highly efficient and transparent service without the need to scale up to meet the requirements.

“There are specific steps that businesses need to take to prepare for the tax, such as checking existing records, ensuring they can accurately verify the source and composition of the plastic packaging and considering, if it is possible, to switch to alternatives.

“You may be charged significant penalties if you do not submit your return or pay the tax in time, and you’ll also be charged interest on late payments. Late payment interest is applied from the date the tax was due until it’s paid.”

The second PPT return covers the accounting period from 1 July to 30  September. Companies must submit the return and pay any tax due no later than 31 October.

The levy, announced in the 2018 Budget by then-chancellor Philip Hammond, is designed to incentivise businesses to use recycled plastic in producing plastic packaging.

Businesses manufacturing or importing 10 tonnes or more a year of plastic packaging that contains less than 30 per cent recycled plastic will be taxed at £200 a tonne.

Plastic packaging containing at least 30 per cent recycled material is exempt from the tax.

Ecoveritas recently launched a data collection vehicle (DCV) to support UK businesses through the first reporting quarter. This tool captures robust, quality data and enables manufacturers, retailers, and brands to collate it efficiently to calculate tax liability accurately.

“Our DCV is free to use and enables companies to map the data they currently have onto the tool,” said Kathy. “It provides a great framework for collating the data metrics required while highlighting missing data, allowing businesses to adjust their data ahead of submission.”

From data that is required from internal sources or the supply chain, the DCV tool is separated into primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging to make data collection easier.

Ecoveritas is a packaging data specialist that provides a range of tools and expertise to brands and retailers to efficiently minimise the environmental impact and maximise the effectiveness of their packaging.