Single-use plastic tax could increase costs of packaging in the UK
In his Spring Statement, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond expressed his willingness to find out whether a single-use plastic tax on goods will reduce plastic waste with an eye on environmental concerns.
As is well-established, things like straws and coffee cups don’t decay and can exist in the ecosystem for many, many years. And such a tax could also apply to parcel packaging familiar to ecommerce traders. You can find more comment from HM Government here.
Here’s what they say:
The government will consider all options for using the tax system to address single-use plastic waste and to drive innovation, and will use the evidence gathered from this call to inform that process. The government wants to look broadly across the whole supply chain, from production and retail to consumption and disposal, in order to gain the best possible understanding of the whole landscape before deciding on the best course of action.
– HM Government
This issue has become part of a visceral political agenda, and it is very possibly a good thing. Since recent programmes from the very great Sir David Attenborough highlighted the damage that plastic goods do to the environment, plenty of people have been thinking about the plastic items we use on a daily basis. In particular, the astonishing affect in marine ecosystems is stark and appalling. And that has spurred politicians on to the possibilities related to a single-use plastic tax.
Let’s all agree there. Plastic stuff in the sea is a bad thing. But let’s remember that ecommerce uses stack of packaging to deliver the goods and these materials could be subject to a single-use plastic tax. Such a tax could mean a price increase to marketplace merchant sellers and prices would need to be amended accordingly.
But, perhaps, the better option is a new generation in packaging materials. Cardboard is a good option that has a sound environmental credence but other materials, perhaps those that can be developed with new plastics that don’t hurt the environment so much are the future.
Cardboard has shot up in price this year and that will drive more people to use plastic!
I would love to use biodegradable bubble wrap etc….. but not at the price it is currently. The consumer wants more for less and anything that puts up our costs and has a cheaper alternative is going to tick the right boxes.
We have to get to a point where either people stop shopping on price ( not going to happen), or we make the ‘better’ alternative the same price or lower.
surely most packaging isn’t single use though? – a jiffy bag can be used multiples of times same as bubble wrap so it isn’t like a one use cup or bottle
eBay listings for their branded packaging claim the plastic mailers and bubble bags are ‘100% recyclable’.