The Plastic Packaging Tax comes into force today but 77% of British businesses are still not aware of what it is.
That’s the key finding of new research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Veolia, revealing that only 22% of companies questioned currently use recycled content in their packaging.
The new tax means there will be a change, however, with a £200 per tonne levy being put on producers or importers of plastic packaging if they refuse to include 30% recycled content.
This packaging tax has been introduced to lower the carbon footprint of British industry, with half of the respondents stating they would accept a cost charge as an incentive to use recycled content.
Of those companies that have started using recycled content, 39% have chosen to use alternative materials to plastic for their packaging and 66% have reduced the amount of avoidable plastic packaging.
Veolia’s Gavin Graveson said: “The UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax is the right way to start getting businesses to push sustainability up the agenda but it needs to go further.
“A tax escalator would make choosing to incorporate recycled content in packaging both economically and environmentally preferable to using virgin materials.
“Not only could the UK save up to 2.89 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year if all plastic packaging included 30% recycled content, it would also incentivise investment in domestic infrastructure which could make the UK a world leader in plastics recycling.”