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'Plastics Tax clarity will unlock crucial investment in recycling'

11th March 2020

Viridor has welcomed clarity on the plastics tax provided by the Government in the 2020 Budget.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30 per cent recycled content would come into force in April 2022 - at £200 per tonne.

Viridor managing director Phil Piddington says the move demonstrates the Government's commitment to prioritising recycling and the greater UK ambition of a circular economy.

Mr Piddington said: “It’s this kind of commitment which creates the demand needed to unlock the crucial investment in recycling infrastructure.

"Viridor has announced its £65m plastics recycling and reprocessing plant at Avonmouth, near Bristol, and is exploring a further two reprocessing plants at Ardley in Oxfordshire and Dunbar in Scotland which will go a long way to addressing the reprocessing gap in the UK and help us to retain a valuable resource which can be used instead of virgin plastic, ending the export of recyclable plastic.”

In his Budget statement to the House of Commons, Mr Sunak said the plastics tax, which was first announced in 2018, would take the scourge of plastic in the natural environment and increase the use of recycled plastics by 40 per cent.

Mr Sunak told the Commons: "From April 2022, we will charge manufacturers and importers £200 per tonne on packaging made of less than 30 per cent recycled plastic.

"That will increase the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 40 per cent - equal to carbon savings of nearly 200,000 tonnes."

Mr Piddington, who is also chairman of the sector trade body, the ESA, said the industry looked forward to working with the Government and advising how the tax can best support resource efficiency and the UK’s wider environmental goals.

He added: “One key issue where regulation needs reform is the Packaging Export Recovery Note (PERN) system which risks using UK consumers' money to invest in recycling infrastructure abroad.

"Viridor wants to see policy that ensures valuable resources are returned to the UK economy providing regional infrastructure investment and local jobs.”

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