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3 approaches you can use to prepare for the plastics tax

reuse bubble wrap

There’s now just 8 months until the new plastic packaging tax comes in to force in the UK. The levy will see plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled content be subject to £200 per tonne penalty.

Whilst the tax is only intended for importers and manufacturers of plastic packaging in the UK, the chances are it’ll impact the cost of plastic packaging. So, if you’re using any plastic packaging your prices could increase as a result.

How can you prepare for the impact of the plastics tax?

Planning ahead is key to mitigating potential cost increases ahead of time. That’s why we suggest you consider the following approaches to limit the impact the plastic tax could have on your business:

  1. Review & reduce your plastic use

Now is the time to review any plastic packaging you’re using across your business. Common items to review will include bubble wrap, plastic based void fill, strapping, stretch wrap and tape, as well as any sort of plastic bags.

Could you be using less of these packaging materials? Taking stock of your packing process and the dispensing equipment you use with these products could help you identify where you could be reducing your plastic use.

  1. Swap to high recycled content packaging alternatives

Where plastic packaging still has a purpose in your supply chain, such as stretch wrap for securing pallets, you can swap to high recycled content alternatives.

High recycled content packaging products contain non-virgin plastic that has been melted down and re-made into new packaging. Recycled content plastic packaging will still protect your products and it is much more beneficial to the environment as it stops waste going to landfill. Click here to learn more about how using recycled content packaging can support your CSR goals and help the planet.

  1. Switch to plastic-free packaging options

When you review your packaging, you might identify areas you could remove plastic materials entirely by replacing them with plastic-free alternatives. There are now lots of paper-based versions of traditional plastic packaging options like:

  • Paper bubble wrap
  • Self-adhesive paper tape
  • Water activated paper tape (WAT)
  • Paper banding / strapping
  • Paper void fill

Alternatively, you could also opt for compostable, bio-based films that look and perform like plastic materials. Compostable bio-films are made from natural products such as potato starch and sugarcane and can reduce your impact on the environment. If you want to use compostable packaging,  it’s important you use appropriately certified materials, click here to read our guide.

Help preparing for the plastics tax

Network Packaging can help you prepare for the incoming plastic tax. Email to ask us about packaging products and services that will help you reduce amount of plastic you’re using.