Plastic Recycling Regulations: a Financial Guide for Small Businesses in the UK

Plastic Recycling Regulations

Right from running countless campaigns about the dreadful impact of plastic on our planet to introducing effective regulations for ensuring plastic recycling, many countries across the world are putting some serious efforts to decrease plastic pollution. The United Kingdom is also not an exception and has already signed up to global commitments to develop a practice of recycling and reusing plastic. 

In fact, there are many small businesses actively engaged in plastic recycling to contribute to environmental sustainability and of course, to meet the evolving expectations of consumers who are increasingly becoming environmentally conscious. So, if you are planning to start a small business, it would be wise to know some key aspects of the plastic recycling regulations to ensure financial stability and compliance. 

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme

With this regulatory scheme, the way in which businesses engaged in supplying packaging services were carrying out their recycling responsibilities has changed forever. 
If you are a small business, you must know whether you qualify as a small organization or not under this scheme because of the existence of some pre-conditions for this qualification. If you’re a small organisation, you have to record all the data about the empty packaging and packaged goods that you supply or import in the country and report it to HMRC. 
There is also a provision of a fee that you must pay to the environmental regulator. However, you are not supposed to pay the fee in 2024 as it has been deferred for a year. Here, it is important to remember that in case you miss the deadline for fee payment, you become liable to pay a penalty charge. 

Plastic packaging tax (PPT)

Introduced on 1 April 2022, the plastic packaging tax (PPT) aims to inspire businesses to use recycled plastic in place of new plastic in packaging as most consumers discard the packaging immediately after consuming or using the goods packaged in plastic. Such a practice only leads to more plastic in the landfills.

Plastic packaging tax is only applicable when the plastic packaging manufactured or imported by the businesses lacks a minimum of 30% recycled plastic. Earlier, the rate of PPT was £200 per tonne of plastic packaging, but it has been increased to £210.82 per tonne of plastic packaging. 

Single-use plastic ban 

In the UK, businesses are no longer able to sell, supply or even offer some single-use plastic items from 1 October 2023. These single-use plastic items also include biodegradable, recycled or compostable plastic items such as cutlery and balloon sticks, polystyrene cups, plates, bowls, trays, etc. So, if as a small business, you do not comply with this single-use plastic ban, you could be liable to pay a fine. 

In a nutshell, understanding the plastic recycling regulations is important for small businesses to make the most of financial opportunities and optimise tax considerations. At CoreAdviz, we are committed to helping you in this journey with our team of skilled accountants and tax consultants. So, do not delay and contact us today to know how we can help you to ensure that plastic recycling initiatives align with your financial goals and contribute to a sustainable future.