Plastic Packaging Tax


Whether you manufacture plastic packaging or import packaged goods, the UK's Plastic Packaging Tax could have implications for you.

United Kingdom

Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) came into force in the UK on 1 April 2022. It applies at a rate of £210.82/tonne (2023 tax year rate) on plastic packaging components with less than 30% recycled plastic, which are manufactured or imported into the UK. PPT is designed to encourage the use of more recycled plastic and applies to plastic packaging produced in, or imported into, the UK that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic.

An estimated 20,000 businesses across a broad range of sectors will be affected, impacting businesses operating in the consumer goods, food and beverage and manufacturing industries. Both manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging will be affected by PPT.

Businesses that fall within the regime will need to submit quarterly returns to HMRC detailing weights of plastic packaging components imported into the UK, manufactured in the UK, containing 30% or more recycled content, and/or exempt, amongst other things.

Impacted Sectors: Any business that imports or manufacturers plastic packaging in the UK, or is involved in the supply chain. Particularly: Manufacturers, Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage, Suppliers & retailers.

European Update


As of 1 January 2023 the Plastic Tax came into force in Spain. The tax applies to the manufacturing, intra-EU acquisition and importation of non-reusable plastic packaging which contains non-recycled plastic. The tax is charged on non-recycled plastic contained in such products at a rate of 0,45€ per kilogram. There is an exemption threshold of 5 kgs of non-recycled plastic per month for intra-EU acquisitions and importations of in-scope products.


The 2020 Italian Budget Law outlines a new tax, the Italian “Plastic Tax”, which will apply to the consumption of Manufactured products for single use (“MACSI”). Following previous delays, it has been announced in the 2023 Budget that the entry into force of the plastic tax will again be delayed until 1 January 2024.

How we can help

Pre step

Our PPT pre step tool is designed to help determine what constitutes plastic packaging components for UK PPT purposes and therefore what products need to be considered when determining whether you are within the scope of PPT. Distilling the key elements of the definition of plastic packaging component from the relevant legislation and guidance, the tool enables tax professionals and non-tax professionals alike to carry out the determinations needed for PPT purposes. This tool is designed to work seamlessly with the other available tools.


Our PPT trigger point tool helps determine whether there is a liability to register for UK PPT. The tool distils the legal requirements and HMRC guidance on the tests for registration and the associated evidence. It can be used as a file note of the determination process carried out and can also form the basis of a regular monitoring exercise to determine the point in time at which the liability to register arises.


Our PPT determination tool helps determine the PPT treatment of individual packaging components for the purpose of completing PPT returns.

It helps relieve the burden of complying with the regime, by structuring the determination process and improves accuracy and consistency.

The output provides an audit trail of the determination process and decisions made. The tool can be automated in collaboration with you to make the process of PPT determination and compiling PPT returns more efficient.


Our PPT e-learn* helps upskill staff on ‘need to know’ PPT rules. Hosted on our intelligent learning platform, Learning Lab, this e-learn adapts to individual users and helps them learn more quickly and retain knowledge for longer in comparison to traditional learning platforms.

* part of PwC’s Digital Tax Academy


We offer a broad range of PPT consulting services, from initial exploratory discussions and workshops, to technical papers and advice on specific issues. We can also assist you with gaining greater clarity on issues from HMRC, including applying to HMRC for non-statutory clearances as to the PPT treatment of particular products, or agreeing special weight methodologies.

In the event of any challenges from HMRC, we are also able to leverage our wide disputes expertise to support you in reaching a resolution, whether this is through litigation or alternative forms of dispute resolution.

Contact us

Caroline Brooks

Caroline Brooks

Environmental Taxes Director, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 383963

Dhan Sehmi

Dhan Sehmi

Senior Manager, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7799 235672

Holly Grantham

Holly Grantham

Senior Manager, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7701 296045

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