Government has extended its consultation on its proposed Plastics Packaging Tax, which was due to close 20 May.
The consultation, which launched 11 March by Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak (pictured), sets out proposals to charge manufacturers and importers £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic.
The government will keep the level of the rate and threshold under review to ensure that the tax remains effective in increasing the use of recycled plastic, it said.
The consultation’s closing date is now 20 August 2020 (11.45pm).
“We are grateful for the responses we have already received,” the Treasury states. “The government recognises that many sectors with an interest in this policy are affected by COVID-19.
“We want to give all stakeholders time to submit their views, so we have extended the consultation. The closing date is now 20 August 2020 (11.45pm).
“However, we encourage early responses from stakeholders, where possible, to support our ongoing consideration of this policy.”
Executive Director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), Jacob Hayler, said an extension to this consultation is “the only sensible approach” bearing in mind that many of the most valuable voices are currently engaged in delivering essential services to society under challenging circumstances.
He said: “There is no indication at present that the implementation of this tax is going to be extended and it is vital that it continues to its original timetable, but the additional time should help to ensure that it a range of factors are considered in its design.
“It is essential that this tax is carefully designed to avoid unintended consequences and ensure that it meets its objectives of boosting demand for recycled plastics; limiting the UK’s reliance on volatile recycling export markets; and stimulating the domestic reprocessing sector.
“Following the announcement in the budget earlier this year, we have already seen the potential power of this tax in increased demand for recycled plastic and new investment in infrastructure.”