The new tax on non-reusable plastics could increase the price of many products from January onwards

Sustainable management
WRITTEN BY Gerard Blanch i Llorens
01 Dec, 2022 — 2 min
The new tax on non-reusable plastics could increase the price of many products from January onwards

The new special tax on non-reusable plastic packaging, regulated by Law 7/2022 of April 8th on waste and contaminated land for a circular economy, will come into effect on January 1, 2023.

The origin of the tax is in line with European directives aimed at taxing countries based on their consumption of non-reusable plastic packaging. In accordance with these directives, various EU countries are creating taxes that levy the consumption of these products. For example, countries like England are already applying it, and Italy is set to implement it also from January 1, 2023.

The tax is of an indirect nature and will apply to all plastic packaging and semi-finished products intended for the production of these containers based on the kilos of non-reusable plastic they contain. This tax will be paid by national manufacturers or companies that purchase non-recycled plastic packaging from abroad. A fixed tax rate of 0.45 euros per kilo of non-reusable plastic will be applied. Companies with purchases of non-recyclable plastic below 5 kg per month will be exempt. This low exemption threshold contrasts with the one in the UK, which is 10 tonnes per year.

It should also be considered that this tax will lead to a chain reaction of price increases, from the producer to the final consumer, who will ultimately bear the cost. It is estimated that many products may experience price increases of between 1% and 5%. Companies will have to consider switching to recyclable plastic packaging to avoid the tax and the associated administrative burden.

Therefore, we are faced with a tax of great scope and complex application, as in many cases it will be difficult to obtain information from foreign suppliers, especially non-EU ones, or to certify the origin of the plastic. We will have to pay attention to the information that may emerge in the coming days before the tax comes into effect.