Countdown to the Plastic Packaging Tax

1 Apr 2021 • 4 minute read

Today marks one year until the government’s new plastic packaging tax comes into force. Introduced in 2018, this new tax tries to reduce the environmental impact of the 2 million tonnes of plastic used each year. Plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic will be subject to this new tax, which will come into effect on the 1st April 2022. The levy of £200 a tonne is intended to create an incentive for businesses to use recycled materials and bridge the price difference between virgin and recycled products, which hopefully in time will reduce.

The UK is one of the top five processors for plastics in Europe with a combined turnover of £19 billion however, the majority of plastic packaging is made from virgin rather than recycled plastic.

With increasing consumer pressure and pledges from the UK government to eliminate plastic waste by 2042, brands and retailers have had to rethink the sustainability of their products and packaging. However, even with this added pressure the UK’s levels of virgin plastic use continue to rise.

In principle this move puts pressure on industries to review their supply chain however, there needs to be more emphasis on the end product being recycled. Consumers in the UK still only recycle one-third of their plastic packaging with the rest being sent to landfill. There is a lack of infrastructure in local councils to fulfil recycling obligations and individuals are not always aware whether a product can be recycled or not. A YouGov survey revealed that only 18% of adults felt well-informed about recycling, while 34 per cent said they would like to see clearer labelling on products and packaging.

So whilst this new plastic packaging tax looks to tackle part of the problem at source, a massive reduction in the reliance of plastics and further innovation of alternatives is what is needed and rapidly. Brands and retailers are responsible for what is offered in the stores and it is those brands who need to adopt the range of viable alternatives already in the market and work to educate consumers around plastic and recycling, until this happens materials will still end up in landfill and the use of virgin plastic will remain and continue to damage our environment.

Our Green Gift Cards are certified plastic free and are both compostable and recyclable in normal household waste streams. If you are interested in making the change from plastic to sustainable board then contact us today. 



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Introducing our range of plastic-free cards

Since 2006 we have been innovating and disrupting in the card market to develop what is a leading range of environmentally-friendly card solutions. So what sets us apart?

Well that’s the thing, there’s a number of reasons why Green Gift Cards are renowned in the world of card production. It is the material we use for our cards and the certification that the cards come with. It is also the compelling environmental story (we urge you to watch the video) that is behind all of our cards and the fact that, once finished with, our cards are compostable and can be recycled in normal household waste streams. Oh and we’ll say it again – being environmentally-friendly doesn’t mean they are more expensive. In fact they offer great value compared to plastic cards.

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