Veolia finds businesses ‘unprepared’ for plastics tax

Waste management company Veolia has published the results of a survey it undertook, which has found that  77% of British retail and manufacturing businesses are “still unaware” of the Plastic Packaging Tax.

Veolia's East London facility recycles plastic milk bottles into food-grade plastic pellets

The research, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Veolia, looked at the views of British-based senior decision makers across retail and manufacturing businesses on the Plastic Packaging Tax.

Effective from 1 April, the tax will see producers or importers of plastic packaging who don’t include 30% recycled content levied at £200 per tonne.

The aim is to reduce reliance on virgin materials, which will help reach the UK’s Net Zero goals.

Findings

The findings showed that only a fifth (22%) of the surveyed businesses had already opted for recycled content in their packaging.

To reach the UK’s Net Zero goals, Veolia said that “far more businesses must reduce their reliance on virgin materials”.

Veolia’s survey found that 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.

‘Right way’

Gavin Graveson, Veolia’s Northern Europe zone senior executive vice president, 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.

Gavin Graveson says the tax ‘needs to go further’

“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.”

Plastic recycling

Veolia operates a process to recycle plastic materials from households and businesses, turning them into plastic pellets to manufacture new plastic items. Over 100 different grades of plastic can be recycled and put back into the supply chain.

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