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Industry anticipates packaging measures in Budget

Plastic waste stream

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been urged to lower VAT on recycled content in plastic, after indicating he is considering a tax on single-use plastic packaging.

Hammond is widely expected to launch a consultation on a single-use plastic packaging tax on Budget day, 22 November.

But the Environmental Services Association (ESA) said a raft of policies were needed to grow the UK recycling market, including green public procurement, lower VAT on recycled content and eco-design rules.

It also called for “long-term clarity” on landfill tax and continued funding to tackle waste crime.

ESA executive director Jacob Hayler said: “Too many of our resources are wasted, and we need much stronger action to improve packaging design and encourage the use of recycled materials in products.

“Our industry has made huge strides in raising recycling and putting our discarded resources back into productive use.

“But without intervention, we are worried that decades of progress in managing our resources will begin to reverse.

“With the right policy support, we can extract value from waste to safeguard our natural capital, boost resource productivity and create thousands of jobs around the country.”

Suez chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “We welcome any Government initiative which seeks to drive down the use of single-use plastics in favour of more sustainable, recyclable, forms of packaging and products.

“An extended producer responsibility regime should address all forms of resource usage, materials and packaging production, and their collection, reuse and recycling across the supply chain.”

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