BHETA launches packaging campaign

 The British Home Enhancement Trade Association (BHETA) has launched a campaign to support supplier members on all issues arising from forthcoming legislation on packaging.  Its opening move was to lobby Government on an extension to the consultation period on the proposed Plastic Packaging Tax in the light of the current pandemic; and this has been successful.  The consultation had been due to end on May 20th, but this deadline has now been extended to 20 August.  BHETA’s second step has been to set up a webinar for all supplier members likely to be affected by the legislation to enable them to explore the implications and engage with the consultation process.

The Plastic Packaging Tax proposal was announced in the March budget.  The draft legislation is planned to come into force in April 2022 and will affect any supplier manufacturing or importing more than ten tonnes of plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content in a twelve-month period.  The tax will be at a rate of £200 per tonne. This compares with the current packaging regulations which state that to be liable for tax a company must have turnover of over £2m and produce fifty tonnes of packaging per year.  The tax will complement the reformed Packaging Producer Responsibility Regulations.

These reforms will encourage businesses to design and use plastic packaging that is easier to recycle.

While the consultation does not offer room for debate on the rate of the tax or the percentage of recycled content, it does seek input on the scope of the tax, the liability for the tax, the exclusion of small operators, the evidence requirements, exports, registration, returns and enforcement, understanding commercial practices and assessment of impacts.

Commenting on BHETA’s latest campaign, which follows on from its ongoing interventions on the draft Offensive Weapons Act and the legitimate retail of kitchen knives, BHETA’s marketing manager, Steve Richardson said, “I strongly urge all BHETA members who handle plastic packaging to engage with BHETA on this issue.  It is vital for suppliers to keep abreast of the up and coming changes and get involved collectively and individually with the consultation.  It is after all very possible that they will become jointly and severally liable as part of these new regulations.

“As a starting point, I recommend attending the BHETA packaging legislation webinar on Thursday May 7th at 10.30 am.  This will be the third online member support webinar in BHETA’s recently launched programme of such events; and BHETA business service provider, Wastepack will be hosting.”

In the webinar, Wastepack’s Policy Director, Paul Van Danzig will be explaining the implications of the Plastic Packaging Tax for suppliers, covering both the proposed legislation itself; and HMRC’s consultation on the detailed design and implementation of the tax.  During the session Paul will cover an overview of the tax, its scope and its implementation and take questions from suppliers.

BHETA’s chief operating officer, Will Jones added: “Plastic packaging and packaging in general is a huge challenge for suppliers at any time from commercial, practical and environmental perspectives.  Forthcoming legislation will focus even more attention on the issue; but given the unique pressures of the Covid-19 crisis, I am pleased that BHETA has been instrumental in securing an extension to the consultation period.  This in no way implies, however, that developing new packaging strategies which are robust, wise, honest and practical is not important for the future.   It’s therefore great to have Wastepack as one of BHETA’s business providers, so we can begin to look at all the issues in the round, as well as engaging with the forthcoming legislation.”

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