UK's FPA welcomes consultation into tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content and keeping coffee cups tax free

Read so far

UK's FPA welcomes consultation into tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content and keeping coffee cups tax free

October 31, 2018 - 05:59

BLETCHINGDON, UK, Oct. 30, 2018 (Press Release) -The decision by the Chancellor not to tax coffee cups is viewed by The Foodservice Packaging Association as a recognition by the Government of the collaboration right across the supply chain that has resulted in such excellent progress in enabling coffee cups to be recycled. The UK, as a result, now has recycling capacity for all its cups and progress is being made in increasing collection. We must now keep our foot pressed firmly on the accelerator and encourage more retailers to accept used cups from any source, not only the chains but the independent sector which in total out numbers the high street chains as well as boosting all the other schemes to increase collection which is resulting in more opportunities to dispose of cups throughout the UK. The collaboration led by the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group sets the benchmark for businesses working together to achieve environmental improvement. What has been apparent to all is that a tax or levy does not result in a major increase in the number of individuals using their own cups to buy coffee.

We welcome the consultation into a tax on plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content and are pleased this will form part of the Extended Producer Responsibility / Packaging Recovery Note reform consultation. This joined up approach will show that PRN reform is by far the most effective means of achieving an increase in recycled content and for developing the UK recycling infrastructure so helping to reduce waste exports. The consultation must recognise our critical food material contact regulations which must be enshrined in UK law following Brexit. The Treasury should note only a small number of recycled plastics are suitable for food use, as well as in ovens and microwaves.

The Treasury has reassured us that the tax is not intended as a revenue earner but will be invested in recycling and litter prevention. The FPA has worked tirelessly to ensure all funds raised from taxes on packaging are used in this way and do not disappear into Government coffers.

We also welcome the additional £20 million for plastics R&D (on top of the 25 Year Environmental Plan pledge of £20 million), £10 million to boost recycling and litter prevention, £10 million to the Environment Agency to clear abandoned waste sites (though we fear much more is needed) and £15 million to distribute surplus food. The latter is a testament to the excellent work conducted by the hospitality and foodservice sector to reduce food waste, WRAP and charities such as Planzheroes. We would have liked to have seen funding to organisations such as Waste Aid who are helping to establish waste management systems in the most polluting nations.

Business Rates relief for retailers in premises with a RV of less than £51,000 is hugely welcomed and we hope this will provide a much needed boost to the hospitality industry much of which is struggling for survival as recent headlines demonstrate. We sincerely hope that the tax on digital based businesses does not unintentionally impact on meal home delivery which has greatly helped many smaller restaurants.

All in all we feel the Treasury has listened very carefully to the points we have raised in our many meetings and we look forward to the dialogue continuing