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Autumn Statement features rises to plastics tax and aggregates levy

The government’s Autumn Statement earlier today featured two fresh tax rises which will impact the waste sector, with the plastic packaging due to rise by more than £7 to £217.85 from April 2024 and the aggregates levy to raise by 8 pence to £2.08.

Jeremy Hunt unveiled his Autumn Statement on 22 November (Picture: Shutterstock)

The Autumn Statement also included plans for a £78 million competitive pilot fund to “alleviate the cost of landfill tax where it is acting as a barrier to the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated land”.

For the plastics tax, the government said it will legislate in the Autumn Finance Bill 2023 to increase it in line with CPI, from 1 April 2024, to £217.85 per tonne. This is up from £200 per tonne when it was introduced.

HMRC collected £276 million from the tax between April 2022 and March 2023, from the 4,142 businesses registered. This was £41 million more than it anticipated.

The statement said: “To ensure the plastic packaging tax continues to incentivise the use of recycled plastic in packaging, the government will publish an evaluation plan by the end of the year and gather further evidence to inform the future trajectory of the rate and recycled plastic content threshold.”

Aggregates levy

Elsewhere, the aggregates levy will rise by £0.08p to £2.08 per tonne in line with RPI from April 2025. This is the first time it has been raised in more than a decade.

Aggregates levy is a UK tax on the commercial exploitation of rock, sand and gravel. It was introduced as an environmental tax to encourage the recycling of aggregates.

Other standout measures include funding of £4.5 billion which will be made available starting in 2025-26 lasting for five years for eight manufacturing sub-sectors: automotive (particularly zero emission vehicles, their batteries and supply chains), aerospace, life sciences, and clean energy (carbon capture, utilisation and storage, electricity networks, hydrogen, nuclear and offshore wind).

Alcohol

Other policies were welcomed by some in the industry.

Glass manufacturer Encirc welcomed the alcohol duty freeze, saying it will enable more interest from consumers and increase glass levels.

The company added: “UK manufacturing and technology needs continued support from the Government to cement our position on the global stage and reach and surpass sustainability goals and it’s positive to see a commitment to long-term industrial planning. The £960m of funding dedicated to the evolving the green sector as part of the £4.5bn investment in manufacturing will be vital to validating alternative fuel sources to natural gas and oil, such as hydrogen and biogases.”

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