Out-Law Analysis | 13 Mar 2020 | 2:05 pm | 2 min. read
However, it has also been widely criticised for not doing enough in other areas to improve protection for the environment.
Major announcements included details of a proposed plastic packaging tax, an additional £700,000 to establish the packaging Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, the allocation of funding for a digital waste tracking system and £2 million to improve the evidence base to tackle fly-tipping.
The Budget also reemphasised the UK government's commitment to achieve 'net-zero' carbon emissions by 2050, with pledges to:
The limited detail on steps beyond the plastic packaging tax which the government will take to achieve its net-zero targets is partially to be expected, as the Net-Zero Review is due to be published this autumn. However, the announcements do reemphasise the government's drive towards a circular economy.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that, from April 2022, the government will "charge manufacturers and importers £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30% recycled plastic". Sunak said that this would increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40% - "equal to carbon savings of nearly 200,000 tonnes".
The plastic packaging tax could be transformational for the waste industry. It will lead to greater demand for recycled plastics and should lead to an overhaul of management of plastics and substantial new infrastructure projects to deliver the changes needed..
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.
This tax could be transformational for the waste industry. It will lead to greater demand for recycled plastics and should lead to an overhaul of management of plastics and substantial new infrastructure projects to deliver the changes needed.
The government has published a further consultation on the design of the plastic packaging tax. This closes on 20 May.
Other notable environmental aspects announced in the Budget included commitments to:
We will continue to watch for more detail on the UK's package of measures to achieve its net- zero carbon emissions target by 2050, and to support clients as they make changes to their operations to achieve their own net-zero targets.
30 Jan 2020
21 Feb 2019