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Plastic Packaging Tax: New government, new perspective?

As a company deeply committed to sustainability, goplasticpallets.com has long been at the forefront of promoting eco-friendly practices in the logistics sector – and this includes campaigning for reform to the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT).

Last year, we wrote to Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt regarding how the PPT is unjustly targeting sustainable supply chain solutions like plastic pallets and pallet boxes. With a new Labour government in power, we are hoping that common sense will prevail.

We are taking our fight to the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves. The current structure of the PPT unfairly targets businesses like ours that supplies many industry leading businesses with durable, reusable plastic products – reducing deforestation in the process. We argue that the tax should focus solely on single-use plastics to truly promote environmental responsibility.

During the election campaign, the Labour Party shared some interesting proposals with regards to sustainability, including the creation of Great British Energy. As the new government maps out its green strategy for the coming years, we hope it considers reforming the PPT to better support sustainable practices without penalising eco-conscious businesses. We invite Rachel Reeves to discuss how we can work together to refine this policy for a greener future.

New government, new perspective?

Read our letter to Rachel Reeves, in full, here:

A request to discuss reform of the Plastic Packaging Tax

Dear Rachel Reeves,

Congratulations on the Labour Party’s recent election victory and your subsequent appointment to the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer. We hope your tenure will bring positive changes, particularly in the areas of economic renewal and sustainability, as outlined prominently during your election campaign.

I am writing to you as the Founder and Managing Director of goplasticpallets.com, an Eastbourne-based company dedicated to sustainability in the logistics sector. Since the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) in April 2022, we have continuously voiced our concerns regarding its unfair impact on businesses like ours. For transparency, we have previously written to both Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt on this issue, but it did not lead to any meaningful action. We now hope that under the new Labour government, this matter will receive the attention it deserves.

At goplasticpallets.com, we take pride in supplying innovative and sustainable products to many industry-leading businesses across multiple sectors including retail, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture and automotive. In addition, we also run a pioneering recycling scheme that has processed over 1,600 tonnes of plastic since 2019, as well as holding an accreditation from the Environment Agency. We also actively contribute to environmental charities and organisations, reinforcing our commitment to a greener future.

The PPT, as currently structured, penalises the use of virgin plastic in products designed for long-term use, such as plastic pallets, pallet boxes, and crates. I believe this tax was intended to curb single-use plastics and promote recycling, but its application to durable goods like ours is misguided. Products that last 10 to 15 years – and actively reduce deforestation by decreasing the need for wooden pallets – should not be classified as “packaging,” especially when single-use items like cases for reading glasses and drills are exempt.

To clarify, 93% of the products we supply are made from recycled materials, underscoring our commitment to sustainable supply chains. However, certain sectors, such as food production and pharmaceuticals, require products to be made from virgin materials to comply with industry regulations. This raises an important question: is it appropriate to tax these essential products?

Our experience highlights this issue. In the 2022/23 period, we paid £180,173 in PPT, and for the 2023/24 period, we paid £155,444. These substantial payments place a significant financial strain on our business, hindering our ability to invest in further sustainable practices, business growth and our people.

The disparity between the number of companies initially expected to register for PPT and the actual registrations, which was a far lower number, further emphasises the disproportionate burden on businesses like ours.

Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan, which aims to reduce energy bills, create jobs, and invest in homegrown clean power, aligns with our objectives. We admire Labour’s vision of transforming Britain into a clean energy superpower, however, we believe that reforming the PPT is crucial to achieving this goal. A tax policy that differentiates between single-use plastics and sustainable long-term alternatives would better promote environmental responsibility without penalising eco-conscious businesses.

I invite you to meet with me to discuss how the PPT can be restructured to better support sustainable practices. Our shared goal is a greener, more prosperous future, and we believe that constructive dialogue on this issue can make a significant difference. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to work together on refining this important policy.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Hardisty
Managing Director
goplasticpallets.com