Tackle the Plastic Packaging Tax Head-On With Summit Systems

Tackle the Plastic Packaging Tax Head-On With Summit Systems

To tackle the issues of plastic pollution, from April 2022, plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic will be subject to the Plastic Packaging Tax. Industry leaders Summit Systems are working with recyclers to help businesses avoid the tax and utilise higher levels of recycled material.

The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) will come into force in spring this year. Companies face being charged £200 per tonne on any plastic packaging containing 30% or less recycled material.

Am I liable?

If you produce packaging that predominantly (by weight) comprises plastic components and does not contain 30% or more recycled material, you will be liable to the tax.


  • If you produce a bottle top ready to be placed on a bottle, you will be liable to pay the tax.
  • If you produce food packaging predominantly made of plastic, you are liable.

Am I exempt?

There are several reasons why you may be exempt from the tax, but it is worth checking to ensure that you are compliant.

You are exempt if you manufacture packaging for licensed medicines but not for medical equipment. You are also exempt if your packaging is used as aircraft, ship, and rail stores for international journeys.

If you are a business producing or importing under the 10 metric tonnes threshold, you are not liable to pay the PPT; however, you will still need to maintain sufficient records. Likewise, if your packaging contains over the 30% recycled content threshold, you will also need to keep the evidence of this to support your tax return, but you will not be charged.

If your plastic packaging is manufactured for export, you can defer paying the PPT, but again your records will need to highlight this. Alternatively, if you have paid tax on packaging which has later been exported, you can apply for a credit but will need sufficient evidence to support this.

NOTE: You must keep your records for six years from the end of the accounting period they relate to.

What do I need to do to prepare for the PPT?

You will need to have registered for Plastic Packaging Tax by 1 April 2022, and by 30 April, you will need to have told HMRC if you are liable to register because you meet any of the following criteria:

  • If you have manufactured or imported 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging within the last 12 months, or if you plan to do so in the next 30 days.
  • If you are a non-resident taxpayer who imports finished plastic packaging into the UK on their own behalf or manufactures finished plastic packaging in the UK.

You should check each month how much finished plastic packaging you have manufactured and imported, and if you meet or exceed the 10 tonnes threshold, you will be liable from the first day of that month. You will have 30 days to register from the date you met or exceeded the limit.

Note: Businesses that manufacture or use more than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging a year should register for the tax, whether their plastic packaging is 30% recycled or not.

How do I complete my Plastic Packaging Tax return?

Your returns will need to be submitted to HMRC, and include the total weight of finished plastic packaging manufactured in the UK, and must cover the following accounting periods:

  • 1 April to 30 June
  • 1 July to 30 September
  • 1 October to 31 December
  • 1 January to 31 March (2023)

For further information on how to complete your tax return, click here.

How Summit Systems can help you incorporate 30% recycled material

Summit Systems is working with UK plastic recyclers to help businesses avoid the tax and utilise higher levels of recycled material in their production process. Summit Systems has a range of granulators and dosing units from four global suppliers designed to improve the percentage of recycled material within your plastic production processes: Maguire, Movacolor, Tria, and Zerma.

As is its role within the plastics industry, Summit Systems aims to provide the most efficient and cost-effective ancillary equipment on the market. With the products in its portfolio, Summit can provide a multitude of options to enable your business to exceed the 30% recycled content threshold.

With a blending or dosing unit, regrind can be reintroduced back into the manufacturing process. Summit Systems supplies blenders and dosers from leading suppliers Maguire and Movacolor, both of which boast phenomenally short payback periods.

These blenders and dosers are designed to accurately mix multiple materials, including regrind and recycled polymer. At the same time, the exact weights of each component are monitored extensively, using touchscreen and smart software technology, which can then be recorded for full traceability, which is critical for completing your plastic packaging tax return.

The Maguire WSB Gravimetric Blenders are configured with the appropriate size hopper and dispense device for the required material. The new dispense devices were designed to help manufacturers with new sustainability challenges, making it easier to handle difficult materials and increasing the usage of regrind in their processes. Covering applications for up to 12 materials, customers benefit from precision mixing, simple operation, and minimum setup time.

Maguire WSB Gravimetric Blenders
The Movacolor Gravimetric Doser series uses a loss-in-weight weighing system and dosing cylinder technology. Feeders are equipped with a touchscreen controller with MCSmart software, which gives you full control over your extrusion, injection moulding, or blow moulding process.

To broaden the successful gravimetric feeder product line, Movacolor placed its focus on the difficulties plastic producers faced when dosing hard-to-handle materials like regrind, powder, or liquids; the MCTwin was developed to dose additive masterbatch and regrind simultaneously. The uniqueness of this system is that any waste material produced from the product is immediately returned into the process. As the material is already coloured, the responsive system automatically adds fewer colour granules, avoiding the overconsumption of additives and reusing the maximum of regrind, which results in significant costs savings.

Movacolor Gravimetric DoserSuppose you are producing regrind in-house rather than purchasing from a third party. In that case, Summit’s range of granulators guarantees the right product for the right application: low-speed granulators for beside the press operation, edge trim and thermoform specialist, miniature machines for low volume recycling, or engineering plastics and large heavy-duty granulators for general recycling.

The Tria Multi-Purpose Granulators are ideal for recycling both rigid and flexible materials such as sprues, injection moulded, or extruded parts. The range has the lowest running cost per kilo of any machine on the market and offers extremely robust and reliable machinery, creating quality regrind for reuse into production processes.

Tria Multi-Purpose Granulators
An alternative option is the Zerma Heavy Duty Granulator GSH; this model is ideal for tough applications, which include 24/7 recycling. A dependable machine with a typical throughput of 300-700kg/hr with heavy-duty bearings and V-cut knife design gives efficient cutting with low dust.

Zerma heavy duty granulatorAreas of Uncertainty

Whilst Summit endeavours to provide accurate information, there will always be areas of uncertainty.

It has not been confirmed by the government whether using your own regrind in your facility is acceptable. However, Summit’s understanding (following advice from the BPF) is that you can utilise your own regrind, providing it is used on an alternate product line to its original purpose.

For example, if you have two production lines within your facility, one for plastic bottles and one for plastic boxes, you could use the regrind from the plastic bottle line and recycle it on the plastic boxes line, and vice versa.

Why should I choose Summit Systems?

For over 30 years, Summit Systems has been supplying and installing plastic ancillaries and recycling machinery. Summit is passionate about ensuring that its customers have the most cost-efficient and advanced technology that ensures their plastics processes run smoothly and without fault. And with the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax, Summit is even more driven to help its customers adapt to the changes of meeting or exceeding the 30% recycled material threshold.

If you would like further information on how Summit Systems can help you improve your granulating and dosing processes, email info@summitsystems.co.uk.

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