Prime minister Rishi Sunak has today (Tuesday 20 June) been invited by goplasticpallets.com for a serious discussion on reforming the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT), in a move reflecting increasing frustrations across the logistics industry. Through an open letter, also sent to 10 Downing Street, managing director Jim Hardisty expressed his concerns about the current tax framework, arguing for a reform that wouldn’t unfairly impact businesses contributing towards a sustainable supply chain.
Since its introduction in April 2022, the PPT has been levied on companies that manufacture or import plastic packaging, which does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. The inclusion of certain plastic pallets, pallet boxes and crates in this tax – items that often remain in the supply chain for up to 15 years – has been met with considerable opposition from the industry.
Hardisty’s letter revealed the strain placed on his company and others in the sector, as a result of what he perceives as a “fundamentally flawed” tax. goplasticpallets.com, well-known across the sector for its commitment to sustainability, had to pay over £180,000 in PPT for the 2022/2023 period alone.
“The current form of the PPT has inadvertently penalised our environmentally-friendly products, making it harder for us to compete and invest in our business and our team. This is why I am calling for a thorough review and reform of the PPT,” he writes.
“Prime minister, I believe that PPT, in its current form, is fundamentally flawed and not fit for purpose. I suggest that it should be scrapped and reintroduced with a clear focus on single-use plastic.”
Hardisty extended an invitation to the prime minister to “discuss how a redesigned PPT could encourage sustainable practices without disproportionately affecting eco-conscious businesses”.
Furthermore, a recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request from goplasticpallets.com revealed that only 3,729 companies signed up for the PPT in its first year – far lower than HMRC’s initial forecast, with Hardisty adding “this vast discrepancy implies either a substantial overestimation of the affected companies or a failure in enforcement and communication”.
Commenting on his invitation to Rishi Sunak, Hardisty said: “I believe that a constructive conversation with the prime minister can lead to positive change for our industry. The current PPT design has unintentionally disadvantaged sustainably-focused businesses like ours. A reform that recognises the difference between single-use plastic and sustainable alternatives is critical to our collective goal of a greener future.”