EU approves tax on nonrecycled plastic waste
The tax is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.
The European Union has approved a plastic tax on nonrecycled plastic waste, which will be implemented Jan. 1, 2021. The plan includes a 0.8 euros per kilogram levy on nonrecycled plastic packaging waste to be paid by member states into the EU budget.
The tax is part of a 750 billion euro (approximately US$861 billion) package combining the future Multinational Financial Framework and a specific recovery effort under Next Generation EU, which the European Council discussed and agreed during its meeting July 17-21.
The tax has been presented by the European Commission as contribution to the EU budget designed to incentivize member states to increase recycling from plastic scrap.
The announcement drew criticism from plastics industry associations in the EU. In a statement, industry association Plastic Europe expressed concern that the tax “could hamper circularity instead of accelerating it.” The European Plastic Converters (EuPC), meanwhile, called for the revenues from the tax to be earmarked for investment into waste and recycling infrastructure.
“As the revenues of the EU plastic tax are not earmarked to be invested into the waste and recycling infrastructure, it will not increase the recycling of plastic waste in Europe,” Alexandre Dangis, EuPC managing director, said in a statement. “Instead, it will further increase the cost of plastic recycling and encourage the shift to other packaging materials with a bigger environmental impact. To truly increase recycling rates across Europe and protect the environment, taxation of the landfilling of plastic packaging waste would be more efficient.”
Further details on the tax remain to be worked out in a specific law and approved by the European Parliament and Council of the EU.