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A large pile of plastic packaging materials at a landfill site

UK Plastic Packaging Tax (UKPPT)

Information for customers and distributors

The United Kingdom (UK) will introduce a new tax on finished plastic packaging components manufactured in or imported into the country from 1 April 2022. Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) will be reportable on a quarterly basis at a rate of £200 per tonne. However, plastic packaging components containing 30% or more recycled plastic are not chargeable for the tax. The tax is intended to drive behaviour for businesses to use more sustainable packaging materials and create greater demand for, and increased levels of, recycling of plastic waste, so diverting it away from landfill or incineration.

A team of 3M cross-functional specialists (including Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Regulatory, Taxation and Business Groups) has been working to ensure that 3M is complying with the new tax requirements by the implementation date.

The UKPPT could also impact some of our customers and channel partners; hence we are receiving enquiries seeking information about the packaging composition of the 3M products they purchase or distribute, many in the form of specific questionnaires or complex feedback forms, each requesting differing levels of detail.

We have extracted the most frequently asked questions and provided answers and links per the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) Guidance published by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This page will be reviewed and updated when new questions are received, or additional information becomes available, including any new regulations or requirements that are passed.

If you have a question that has not yet been addressed, please send it to:

Thank you for your continued business.
3M United Kingdom PLC

Frequently asked questions
Last updated: 1 March 2022

Q1: What is the purpose of the UK Plastic Packaging Tax (UKPPT)?
A: The tax aims to incentivise businesses to use recycled plastic in the manufacture of plastic packaging materials, supporting increased levels of recycling of plastic waste and thus preventing disposal through landfill or incineration.

Q2: What is the definition of ‘recycled plastic’?
A: Recycled plastic is plastic that has been reprocessed from recovered material by using a chemical or manufacturing process. This is so it can be used either for its original purpose or for other purposes. This does not include organic recycling. Further information available:
Work out which packaging is subject to Plastic Packaging Tax - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Q3: What is 3M’s position regarding the use of plastic packaging materials?
A: Plastic pollution is a pressing global challenge, and the production of fossil-based plastics negatively impacts the global climate through the release of greenhouse gas emissions.
By 2025, 3M aims to achieve a new sustainability goal: reduce dependence on virgin fossil-based plastic by 125 million pounds (57 million kilos). To achieve this, the company is innovating its products and packaging: advancements will include use of post-consumer recycled content and bio-based plastics, and designs to decrease overall plastic use.

Q4: When does the UKPPT apply?
A: The UKPPT applies to finished plastic packaging components manufactured in or imported into the UK. The business that undertakes the last substantial modification before the packing or filling process will be liable for the tax. There are 2 types of plastic packaging subject to the tax. These are packaging designed to be suitable for (1) use in the supply chain and (2) as single use consumer packaging. Further information available:
Work out which packaging is subject to Plastic Packaging Tax - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Examples of packaging in and out of scope of Plastic Packaging Tax - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Q5: Who is obliged to register for paying the UKPPT?
A: From 1 April 2022, a company must register for the UKPPT if they have manufactured in or imported into the UK, 10 or more tonnes of finished plastic packaging components within the last 12 months, or will do so in the next 30 days. Further information available:
Decide if you need to register for Plastic Packaging Tax - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Q6: What is the definition of ‘plastic packaging component’?
A: A plastic packaging component is a product that’s designed to be suitable for use in the supply chain, from the manufacturer of the goods to the user or consumer. It can be used alone or in combination with other products. Further information available:
Work out which packaging is subject to Plastic Packaging Tax - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Q7: Have countries other than the UK introduced a plastic packaging tax?
A: The UK is one of the first countries to introduce a tax based on the recycled content of plastic packaging component materials. However, further introductions in other markets are expected. The scope of their country specific legislation may differ from that of the UK.

Q8: Who is responsible for paying the tax for 3M products whose packaging contains less than 30 % recycled plastic?
A: 3M is assessing its finished plastic packaging components manufactured in or imported into the UK. 3M will carry out due diligence checks in respect of PPT for manufacturing, imports, and purchases with customers and distributors. 3M will register and pay PPT in accordance with HMRC guidance. However, a customer could be liable for paying additional UKPPT if after purchasing a 3M plastic packaging component, they substantially modify it. Further information available:
Plastic Packaging Tax: steps to take - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Q9: Will I be able to see how much UKPPT 3M has paid on my invoices or delivery notes?
A: The requirement to include a statement with your invoice to show that Plastic Packaging Tax has been paid, which was due to commence in April 2022, will be delayed. Further information available:
Register for Plastic Packaging Tax - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)