Last week it was announced that the UK is planning to introduce a ‘world-leading’ tax on plastic packaging. This will apply to all single-use plastic packaging that doesn’t include at least 30% recycled content.
This isn’t news, this was predicted and expected, so why are their articles describing it as a ‘nightmare’ for food and drink? It’s not a nightmare, it’s a reality that we have all been building towards for year. 2.26 million tonnes of plastic packaging used in the UK every year is made from new material rather than recycled, primarily because it’s cheaper, and it’s because of this that more than half the population of the UK is in favour of the plastic tax, which is why the government has moved it forward to be introduced in 2022.
In our September UK Trends Report we highlighted Plastic Free as an unstoppable trend and a long time coming. Additionally, The Grocers poll in February 2018 revealed ‘extreme’ shopper concern over plastic where they found 21% of UK consumers believe that the food industry should opt for plastic-free packaging.
Will this be costly to the food and drink industry? Yes. But in the long-term, it is an important change to make for the future of our planet and its what consumers want. This tax was inevitable and let’s be honest, the tax proposed is actually quite lenient. The tax is on single-use plastic that isn’t at least 30% recycled content. They are going easy on us and easing the industry into the reality of a plastic-free future.
Many small and big brands were already converting to plastic-free alternative packaging, and thanks to packaging innovations companies can utilise compostable plastic alternatives made from biodegradable plant materials including seaweed, cornstarch, natureflex and/or other alternatives.
The world’s first Plastic Free Trust Mark was launched in May 2018 and Teapigs were the first tea brand to be awarded the Plastic Free Trust Mark. Cook’s frozen meals are swapping their black plastic dishes for cardboard based trays. CanO Water was created in response to the damaging impact that plastic bottles have on the environment, and as CanO Water is packaged in aluminium it is an infinitely recyclable alternative to plastic bottles.
Eat Troo’s granola uses Ooho packaging Sirane’s plastic-free ‘Earthpouch’. Lucozade Sport is making steps towards plastic free by trailing its edible pods. These refreshing fruit energy gels are encased in a flavourless Ooho material made from seaweed extract, which is edible, the pods were trialled at marathons in the UK in September. Listen to this podcast with Ooho.
More on the plastic packaging tax here: beveragedaily.com/Article/2018/10/30/UK-to-introduce-plastic-packaging-tax