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Plastic packaging tax & deposit return scheme: where are we now?

08 November 2021

With the world firmly focused on achieving net zero at COP26, businesses are wrestling with the challenges and opportunities presented by government changes introduced to attempt to increase the volume of recycled plastics being used in consumer supply chains.

With COP26 well underway and the UK Budget behind us, consumer businesses are now wrestling with the practical impact of the incoming changes aimed at tackling plastic usage in the UK. 

Successful implementation of your approach to plastic packaging tax and/or the introduction of the deposit return scheme in Scotland in 2022 will be pivotal to the success of the ESG strategy of many businesses.

With plastic packaging tax being introduced in April 2022, we are keen to discuss the forthcoming changes to the legislation announced in the Budget last week and hear from you on the practical steps you are taking and the challenges you are facing in implementing your plastic packaging tax strategy.

Against a backdrop of lengthy silence from the Scottish Government in relation to whether the implementation of the new Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland will be delayed, we will discuss the latest developments in relation to implementing the scheme. We will also discuss the challenges faced by businesses in attempting to comply with this new devolved legislation from labelling and stock control to takeback service. There is no doubt that the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland is going to affect many aspects of businesses affected by the scheme.

Both of these changes present significant opportunities for businesses to demonstrate leadership in the ESG arena and to obtain a green stamp of approval in their supply chains and with their customers. 

However, the implementation of such changes need to be weighed up in the net zero round. It is clear that post-COP26 there will be pressure on the Chancellor to introduce new UK tax steps to attempt to curb high carbon activities rather than encourage them.

Interested in discussing the issues raised in this article in more depth? Why not join our upcoming roundtable: A focus on plastic after COP26: Deposit Return Scheme and Plastic Packaging tax – are you ready? – Thursday 11th November, 14:00-15:00 (GMT)

With in-house legal professionals from a range of consumer sector businesses, we will discuss the circular economy, covering the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme in Scotland and the commencement of the new plastic packaging tax in 2022 and exploring the challenges and opportunities this presents for business.

Register your interest in this session and find out more about our consumer sector in-house counsel roundtable series >

Further Reading