Ecommerce businesses must prepare for the countdown to the Plastic Packaging Tax

With just a year to go until the introduction of the Government’s Plastic Packaging Tax, one of Europe’s leading packaging suppliers, Southgate Packaging, is urging logistics businesses to take stock and prepare now, to avoid incurring additional costs.

The tax, which is due to come into force in April 2022, will apply to plastic packaging produced in or imported into the UK, which does not contain at least 30 per cent recycled plastic, only excluding packaging which is not predominantly plastic by weight.

The new measure is estimated to affect up to 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging and is predicted to have the highest impact on the waste and recycling sector since landfill tax was introduced.

As an industry leader, with a wide customer base ranging from over 600 distributors across Europe to a portfolio of large e-commerce clients and those specialising in warehousing and logistics, Southgate is well placed to raise awareness of the upcoming tax change and lead the way in providing solutions on how best to prepare.

To minimise the increased cost implications, Southgate recommend businesses start preparing immediately by collating a list of packaging containing plastic material, specifying the amount of recycled content and reviewing alternatives if needed.

Craig Turner, Managing Director at Southgate Packaging, said: “This new legislation will have a huge impact yet, it is a change that we at Southgate welcome as it aligns with our wider strategy to increase our volume of sustainable packaging solutions.

“As we look to 2022, we are focusing on the benefits this will have not only on generating a more circular economy, but how it will help the industry align with consumer expectations, right from the start of the supply chain to the end user.”

The new tax is set to provide a clear economic incentive for businesses who are not already, to use recycled material in the production of plastic packaging. In return, creating greater demand for the material and stimulating increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration.

Craig added: “Recycled plastic has a carbon footprint that can be up to four times lower than that of virgin plastic, so if we are to reach the Global Climate G7 goals of achieving carbon neutral in the near future, the Plastic Packaging Tax is the first major step.”

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 and the change in consumer habits this has brought about, Southgate has recognised that sustainability and e-commerce are two key trends that will be driving the industry forward.

In the past year, Southgate has launched a number of sustainable packaging products from carton sealing, pallet wrapping and void fill, with plans to have a suit of sustainable options for every product. To showcase its latest sustainable product line, Southgate recently launched its Sustainability E-edition brochure.

Craig said: “We are committed to developing a line of alternative products and expand our range to reduce our plastic content. For example, our Carbon Neutral Air Cushions already use 53 per cent of recycled content. We plan to continue expanding our range in line with the new tax to reduce plastic content while increasing users’ productivity and profitability.

“We look forward to watching the industries involved in plastic production working together to introduce solutions that protect our environment and support circular economy principles.”

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