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Jamie Cartwright comments on the potential impact of the plastic packaging tax

Jamie Cartwright comments on plastic packaging tax, as the UK Plastic Packaging Tax enters its first week.

Many industry experts are criticizing the legislation’s stipulations for failing to guarantee that funds raised by the levy will be used to build recycling infrastructure and instead place further burdens on already struggling businesses throughout the country.

Charles Russell Speechlys Partner, Jamie Cartwright says that regulations seeking to discourage single-use plastic packaging are “fundamentally a good thing.”

“However, the regulations do not self-evidently preclude the use of single-use plastic and, even with the cost of the tax, single-use plastic may not prove more expensive or materially more expensive when allowing for the cost and availability of recycled options alongside the evidential requirements to prove recycled content,” he says.

He explains that the evidential burden of proving recycled content and how it operates in practice remains to be seen. It is hoped that the government “adopts a pragmatic and proportionate approach.”

“To encourage the move across, more ought to be done to improve the availability and accessibility of recycled plastic and alternatives so that the regulations become less of a tax and penalty to be borne but instead one element of a series of inducements toward improved [environmental] sustainability,” he continues.

“Cost will be an important consideration for business at a time when there is already significant supply chain pressure and rising costs and also as the UK enters a cost of living crisis.”

Jamie’s comments first appeared in a Packaging Insights article on 4th April 2022.

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